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ASU student team engages nearly 900 voters with software that reminds people to cast ballots

Efforts place team in top 15 out of 131 U.S. colleges, universities


Andrew Goodman Ambassador Cyrus Commissariat, right, assists a student voter.

Andrew Goodman Foundation Ambassador Cyrus Commissariat assists a student voter.

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January 06, 2020

A team of Arizona State University students engaged nearly 900 fellow students in the voting process with an online tool, placing ASU in the top 15 among 131 U.S. colleges and universities, the nonpartisan organization Democracy Works announced.

Managed by the Brooklyn, New York-based Democracy Works, the tool, called TurboVote, employs easier ways to register and to get an early ballot, and sends students online reminders that elections are near to help them remember to cast ballots.

TurboVote streamlines the voting process, but it is only as effective as the people involved in sharing it, said Mike Ward, Democracy Works’ vice president for voter engagement, in a letter congratulating the students.

“ASU connected close to 900 students with the TurboVote technology in advance of this year’s elections, thanks to your enthusiastic team, thoughtful planning, and strategic implementation,” Ward wrote.

Volunteers in ASU’s 2019 engagement effort included representatives of ASU’s Undergraduate Student Government (USG), several Andrew Goodman Foundation “Vote Everywhere” Ambassadors and members of the Student Civic Coalition. All worked with the Congressman Ed Pastor Center for Politics and Public Service.

“We’re extremely proud of this recognition from Democracy Works. But this level of student voter engagement would never be possible without the immense efforts of our student champions, namely our Andrew Goodman Foundation ‘Vote Everywhere’ Ambassadors,” said Alberto Olivas, executive director of the Pastor Center, which is based at ASU’s Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions.

“The AGF ambassadors coordinate student voter registration, voter education and get-out-the-vote efforts with leaders in student government and other active organizations participating in the multipartisan Student Civic Coalition,” Olivas said. “I give them all so much credit for making our campus one of the most engaged and active universities in the country.”

Democracy Works’ website describes its organization as “a team of software developers, public policy wonks and civic organizers building the tools needed to upgrade the infrastructure of our democracy.”

Since 2012, more than 6 million voters have signed up for TurboVote, through participation with more than 300 colleges and universities as well as 50 nonprofits and other organizations, including Google, Facebook, Starbucks and Univision, according to the website.

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