Contact: Mike Greife
WARRENSBURG - 10/12/2006 - Building on the historic young voter turnout in the 2004 elections, UCM is conducting a non-partisan project to register more than 500 young voters in the 2006 election cycle, with more than 200 registered at UCM to date.
Part of 32-State Project
The effort is part of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities' (AASCU) 32-state project to register 40,000 students to vote.
The AASCU and University of Central Missouri projects are part of a larger nationwide, non-partisan effort to register 350,000 voters in 2006 coordinated by Young Voter Strategies and funded by a $3 million grant from The Pew Charitable Trusts. UCM and Missouri State University are the only two schools in Missouri to participate in the project.
More than 70 Colleges and Universities Involved
School administrators and students at more than 70 colleges and universities will register young voters using a mix of peer-to-peer outreach, encouragement from professors, email, and direct mail.
If You Ask Them, They Will Vote
"The year 2004 proved that if you ask them, they will vote," said Shari Bax, associate professor of political science at the UCM. "Massive outreach efforts in 2004 resulted in young voter turnout increasing 11 percentage points over 2000 levels—more than four million more young voters in 2004. In 2006, we'll register students here in Missouri and continue the momentum of increasing young voter turnout."
AASCU's American Democracy Project Involved
AASCU, which represents 430 state colleges and universities that enroll more than 3.7 million students, will register young voters through its American Democracy Project. An additional 100 campuses are expected to promote the voter registration link available on AASCU's web site.
Two of the country's leading voter mobilization researchers will work with AASCU to track and evaluate which of these five techniques register the most state college students and find out which of them is most likely to result in a vote cast on Election Day. The results can be applied by future voter registration projects at all public colleges, which enroll more than six million students.
More Than 400 Public College, Universities Represented
AASCU represents more than 400 public colleges and universities in the U.S., which enroll more than three million students or 55 percent of the enrollment at all public four-year institutions. AASCU's American Democracy Project is a multi-campus initiative that seeks to create an intellectual and experiential understanding of civic engagement for undergraduates enrolled at AASCU's member institutions. The goal of the project is to produce graduates who understand and are committed to engaging in meaningful actions as citizens in a democracy.
Young Voter Strategies Provides Support
Young Voter Strategies, a project of the Graduate School of Political Management at The George Washington University with support from The Pew Charitable Trusts, provides the public, parties, candidates, consultants and non-profits with data on the youth vote and tools to effectively mobilize this electorate for upcoming elections.