For More Information:
Jude Stone, University of Oregon (class of ‘21) New Voters Project Coordinator (480) 381-5386, [email protected]
Manny Rin, Student PIRGs New Voters Project Director 925-234-1457, [email protected]
Peer-to-peer organizing reached thousands in days leading up to Nov. 3
Eugene, Oregon — OSPIRG’s New Voters Project, one of the country’s oldest and largest youth-led voter mobilization efforts, played a role in increased youth voter rates during the 2020 election. Not only does new data show increases in the youth share of all votes cast in a number of key states, but preliminary surveys also indicate that the youth vote share increased in Oregon from 12 percent in 2016 to 18 percent in 2020. Nationally, the youth vote share from 16 percent in 2016 to 17 percent in 2020.
OSPIRG’s New Voters Project ran massive get-out-the-vote volunteer actions in the final weeks leading up to the election. In Oregon, the group mobilized 100 student organizers on 3 campuses to help their peers register and make plans to vote safely. In the days leading up to Election Day, PIRG volunteers personally contacted more than 19,500 of their peers and walked them through their plans to return their ballot before the deadline on Nov. 3.
Nationwide, the group reached more than 1 million young voters in the final weeks.
“My generation is the largest and most diverse group of voters in the country with our own values, ideas and issues that we care about.” said Jude Stone, University of Oregon class of 2021; “These results show that we are willing to vote to create a future that works for us.”
At the University of Oregon a coalition of athletes, campus staff activists and student groups worked together to turnout the vote with their Keep it 100 initiative and virtual Party the Polls.
The Ducks Vote included 30 campus administrators, faculty, athletes and student groups to assist in all facets of the voting process. Along with phone banking and class announcements throughout the term, last Thursday the coalition held a massive virtual “Party at the Polls” Zoom event. The event featured an original game day routine by the Oregon Dance Team, performances by acapella groups Divisi and Mind The Gap, and comments from guest speaker student body vice-president Semeredin Kundin.
Acapella group Mind the Gap “throw their O” during their performance
University of Oregon Competitive Dance Team Preformed an original game day routine
“In the last months many groups have come together to help University of Oregon students register to vote,” student body vice president Semeredin Kundin.
This event continued the success of the Keep it 100 initiative, a partnership between UO Athletics and OSPIRG to ensure 100% of athletes were registered and pledged to vote. Efforts included students at the University of Oregon calling their classmates to help them make plans and pledges to vote as a part of the PAC-12 Voting Challenge. The University of Oregon is currently in first place in the challenge with more pledges than rival campuses Oregon State University and the University of Washington.
“The success of ‘Keep It 100’ is a prime example of why Oregon wins championships,” Mike Menneng, Men’s Basketball Assistant Coach said. “Ducks are connected not just on game day but everyday. This goal does not happen and isn’t feasible without the support of our coaches, the buy-in of our athletes, the continued efforts of BEOREGON, and the leadership of our administration. Empowering hundreds of student athletes to become lifetime voters is amazing. This generation, our student athletes are truly tomorrow’s leaders.”
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.
The Student PIRGs is a network of student run and student funded organizations that work with professional staff at colleges and universities to make sure our peers have the skills, opportunities and training they need to create a better, more sustainable future for all of us. Our chapters on 35 campuses provide the training, professional support and resources students need to tackle climate change, protect public health, revitalize our democracy, feed the hungry and more. For over 40 years we’ve helped students to get organized, mobilized and energized so they can continue to be on the cutting edge of positive change.