Students Mobilize on National Vote Early Day

Student group reaches thousands of their peers on inaugural national holiday

Press Release

-For Immediate Release-

For More Information:
Manny Rin, Student PIRGs New Voters Project Director, 925-234-1457, [email protected]/opentextbookalliance
Josh Chetwynd, Communications Manager, 303-573-5558, [email protected] 

DENVER
 The Student PIRGs New Voters Project joined more than 2,500 partners across the country on Saturday to celebrate National Vote Early Day, the first civic holiday to help Americans take advantage of their options to vote early in their state. Over 300 students called and texted thousands of their peers to help them make plans to vote. Dozens of student organizations, community groups, and faculty joined the massive outreach effort. Supporting first time voters navigate the process in their state is critical in helping ensure they turn out. 

Ready with their Zoom conference rooms, cell phones, and festive Halloween costumes, students spent the day of action reaching out to young voters. Many of them are newly registered and asked pressing questions, including: Do I vote in person or by mail? Where is my nearest polling location? What is the deadline to mail in my ballot?

“In the next 10 days, young people have the opportunity to make our voices heard in our democracy, but only if we vote,” said Oriana Holmes-Price, Senior at Rutgers University, “It is awesome to know that someone will vote because of the plan I helped them make today.”

Recent data shows that in a number of states, such as Florida, Michigan, Georgia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, early voting rates from young people, who are taking advantage of their voting options during the COVID-19 pandemic, far exceed rates at the same point in 2016. 

“Voting absentee gives people the convenience and flexibility to make plans that work for us.” said Kyle Brady, Junior at University of Florida,  “I am casting an absentee ballot this year because I am not able to drive to vote in person because of recent surgery.” 

Voting early in person has also been an option for first-time voters who want to avoid long lines on Election Day. In Georgia, rates for early in-person and voting by mail are breaking records. As of Tuesday, early voting has increased by 114 percent in the Peach State. This trend is occurring in states across the country. 

Georgia State freshman and first-time voter Kaylee Avilla said: “I woke up at 7:30am to get in line to vote. I ended up waiting for 2 hours in line, but I am glad I got to cast my ballot because I know how important it is to vote in this election.” 

With Nov. 3 less than two weeks away, student organizing can play a big role in walking first-time voters through this process. The Student PIRGs will continue to get out the vote on campuses virtually with phone banks, class announcements, educational panels and other peer-to-peer actions. 

“Vote Early Day marks the beginning of the final sprint to educate and mobilize as many new voters as possible before Election Day,” said Manny Rin, National New Voters Project director, “During the next 10 days, young people will show the country that they are not only America’s largest generation, but they also vote.”

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The Student PIRGs  voter registration and turnout effort is part of its New Voters Project campaign, one of the largest nonpartisan youth voter mobilization efforts in the country. The Student PIRGs’ New Voters Project has run peer-to-peer student voter mobilization drives to turn out the youth vote on college campuses for more than 30 years. Its philosophy is that the full participation of young people in the political process is essential to a truly representative, vibrant democracy. The New Voters Project does not endorse, either explicitly or implicitly, a political candidate or political party for elected office.
Vote Early Day is a new civic holiday founded by companies, nonprofits, election administrators, and influencers to make sure Americans know about and take advantage of our options to vote early. More than 200 million Americans are eligible to vote early but the rules — both for in-person and by-mail options — vary widely all over the country and have been changing recently, causing confusion and preventing voters from casting their ballots.