With only two weeks remaining until Election Day, UC students have shattered existing voter registration figures.
In a statewide movement backed by the UC Students Association and the United States Student Association Foundation, the UC Students Voice! Project has registered nearly 50,000 students throughout the University of California system. UCSB accounted for nearly 20 percent of this total, registering 10,241 student voters.
Organized by student volunteers, the UC Students Voice! Project is the largest nonpartisan youth voter program in the state. Although students can no longer register to vote in the Nov. 4 election, UCSB voter initiative leaders said they were satisfied with the volume of students they were able to attract.
Associated Students External Vice President of Statewide Affairs Corey Huber said the movement was able to meet its goal of registering 10,000 UCSB students by utilizing a variety of resources at each of the UC campuses.
“I would say first and foremost, we were able to generate electoral power,” Huber, a third-year political science major, said. “Having this movement be [a] UC-wide effort and not just at UCSB helped our organization in getting the student body registered.”
Jaclyn Feldstein, UCSA Board member, said she was astounded UCSB was able to surpass their recruitment goal.
“We set our goal back in June for 10,000 and honestly, I didn’t think we were going to get it,” Feldstein, a fourth-year religious studies and art history major, said.
UCSB historically has had the highest number of registered voters among the UC campuses, Huber said.
“Usually, UCSB accounts for about 40 percent of the voter registration in the state,” Huber said. “However, because it is an election year, that percentage will probably end up being lower.”
Huber said he credited the enlistment of outside organizations familiar with registration tactics with the success of the campaign.
“We also collaborated with UCSA, and they are the ones that provided us with the grassroots training that was so effective,” Huber said. “[The training] showed us that its not just what’s on the ballot, but the ways to register folks.”
UCSA registered 13,722 students to vote in the February presidential primary and over 27,000 students statewide since August to vote in the general election.
In addition to external efforts, Huber said UCSB’s politically affiliated campus organizations served as a crucial arm of the registration effort.
“This was not just A.S. effort, it was definitely campus-wide,” Huber said. “We got a lot of help from groups like CALPRIG, Campus Democrats and the campaigns of Doreen Farr and Lois Capps.”