Cal State Long Beach voter registration kick off. Photo courtesy of CSSA.
The California State Student Association (CSSA)—the statewide student association which represents the some 427,000 students within the California State University system—registered 31,372 new voters in California during its biannual voting registration drive.
At Cal State Long Beach, the drive yielded around 2,098 new registered student voters, or just over six percent of the student body. This doesn’t include registrations that were done through the Secretary of State’s online registration nor those done through paper form registration done on the student’s own behalf. The two campuses that registered the most during the drive, San Diego State and San Francisco State, registered 4,413 and 4,060 students respectively.
“It is important for CSSA to coordinate student engagement in different areas,” said Miles Nevin, the Executive Director of CSSA. “One of our traditions is to coordinate a nonpartisan voter registration and mobilization effort each election cycle. In 2010 we succeeded in registering 16,500 students, and the current effort resulted in more than 31,000 new voters. Our student leaders did an exceptional job executing this statewide campaign, and we are now focused on getting out the vote on November 6.”
Nevin attributes the effort’s success due to the relevance to students of Proposition 30, Governor Jerry Brown’s tax initiative appearing on the November ballot.
“CSU students understand what is at stake, and they have collectively decided to endorse the initiative in order to stave off more increases in tuition and more cuts to course sections,” explained Nevin.
This election season, campuses hosted local and statewide campaign debates in an effort to not only increase the number of registered votes, but their understanding of the propositions as well. If Proposition 30 fails, CSU officials say that almost 600 course sections will be cut at CSULB alone and each student will pay an additional $150 in tuition each semester.