Louisiana State University’s student publication, The Daily Reveille, published an article titled “LSU SG, Geaux Vote LSU partner to launch voter registration service TurboVote.” This is an excellent example of writing about TurboVote! The article provides accurate descriptions about TurboVote’s features and how LSU in particular seeks to take advantage of TurboVote to its fullest.
We love how the article mentions that...
- TurboVote helps streamline the voter registration process
- TurboVote is mobile-friendly
- TurboVote sends out email or text reminders for elections
- LSU SG can use TurboVote data to demonstrate the need for an on-campus polling place
LSU SG, Geaux Vote LSU partner to launch voter registration service TurboVote
Author: Sheridan Wall
Date: Apr 11, 2018
Geaux Vote LSU, in partnership with Student Government, launched its new online voter registration service, TurboVote on April 4.
TurboVote is an application of Democracy Works, an organization dedicated to merging technology with civic engagement, according to the organization’s website. TurboVote was Democracy Works’ first project launched in 2010. TurboVote partners with several colleges, universities and other organizations to encourage increased voter participation.
“Our vision is straightforward: make voting a simple, seamless experience for all Americans so that no one misses an election,” the organization’s website stated.
TurboVote helps streamline the voter registration process, allowing students to register regardless of in-state or out-of-state status, according to Geaux Vote president and political science senior Louis Gremillion.
The site will direct in-state students with a Louisiana I.D. to the secretary of state’s online voter registration portal. If students do not have a valid Louisiana I.D., they can fill out the paperwork online and either have TurboVote send them a copy ready to be mailed in or print out a copy and mail it themselves.
“Basically it’s just removing a lot of the hassle and responsibility for us to double check like in the past that created trouble for us,” Gremillion said.
Once a student registers on the site, the student can sign up for email or text election day reminders, as well as sign up to receive absentee ballots, Gremillion said. TurboVote is mobile-friendly.
“This is a student led initiative,” Gremillion said. “Students pushing other students to register and participate is the way to be influential for our generation to have its voice heard.”
Before TurboVote, Geaux Vote helped students register to vote by directing them to one of two forms or the Louisiana online voter registration portal, Gremillion said. In-state and out-of-state students would have two completely different forms to fill out. Geaux Vote had to assist students in filling out the forms correctly and were responsible for turning those forms into the Secretary of State’s office.
“We have to double check to make sure the student has registered and filled out the forms correctly because if those forms were filled out incorrectly, then it’s invalid and we have no way to reach out to a student,” Gremillion said.
Gremillion said the process was inefficient and most students didn’t want to take the time to do it. The search for a new platform started after he and Geaux Vote vice president Rachel Campbell attended a conference for civic engagement at Harvard University last year.
Students can register to vote using their on-campus address. Gremillion said students can still choose to have their mail and absentee ballots sent to their home addresses even if they register with their on campus address.
According to Gremillion, students registering with their on-campus address is the first step to getting a polling precinct on campus, which is a major goal of the organization.
Campbell said an existing bill calls for the consolidation of the University’s two polling places, one at University Laboratory School and an off-campus elementary school, into one central location on campus. However, the legislature hasn’t been able to justify the relocation.
Instead of the Secretary of State’s office or the Metro Council conducting a study, TurboVote will allow the University to collect the data on campus voter registration to justify a polling place on campus, Campbell said.
“We’re showing them we do have the numbers, that we do have the student support on this campus to justify having a polling place at LSU,” Campbell said. “Young leaders are going to be the future of this nation and the things we’re voting on now, the elected officials we’re putting in office directly affects our future.”
Gremillion said they’re hoping to add a feature to the site that allows students to select their residence hall when registering and have the address automatically entered.
“It’s going to open the doors to continue making LSU a voter-friendly campus,” Gremillion said.
Manship student senator Frederick Bell said Geaux Vote brought the TurboVote initiative to SG to request a partnership for funding and promotion. Bell said he drafted the legislation and presented it to his fellow senators and it “passed with near unanimous vote.”
“I thought it was a great idea,” Bell said. “This is something we have to support.”
The service costs $5,000, and SG will fund the service with existing student fee money, according to Bell.
“If we’re going to spend $5,000 of student fees, it should be something like this, TurboVote,” Bell said.
Geaux Vote and SG will be participating in an extensive campaign to encourage students to register with TurboVote, Bell said. A link to the TurboVote website will also be featured on SG’s webpage.
Geaux Vote is part of a national organization, The Andrew Goodman Foundation, Gremillion said.
“We participate in this national organization that encourages universities to register students to vote and encourages students to take strides to expand electoral reforms on college campuses,” Gremillion said.
Geaux Vote is a non-partisan organization that focuses on getting students involved in politics, Campbell said.
“Politics affects every single thing in the world around us,” Campbell said. “Getting registered to vote puts students and puts any person in the middle of that process, gives you a voice and gives you a say.”
Past Geaux Vote initiatives include changes to the University student I.D. to make it compliant with voter identification laws in Louisiana, Gremillion said. Students can currently go to the Student Union and get a student I.D. to use as voter identification.
Editor’s Note: Frederick Bell is a former columnist for The Daily Reveille.