Last year, changes tightening Wisconsin voter ID laws sparked controversy among college students across the state, with some students and state officials claiming the new requirements would dissuade student participation in elections. Now, advocate groups have reacted to these concerns and sought to educate students about what they need for the polls. The Campus Vote Project, an initiative started in 2012 by the Fair Elections Legal Network, aims to mobilize students on college campuses across the country to work with college administrators and election officials to educate students about voting. According to Campus Vote Project’s website, the organization hopes to “overcome barriers students often face to voting that students often mention such as residency laws, registration deadlines, and strict voter ID requirements.” Students who contact the Campus Vote Project can receive a “tool kit,” which includes information about roadblocks to student voting and how to educate colleges about voting requirements.
According to Josh Spaulding, communications and policy manager for the Campus Vote Project, the idea for the project came as an answer to the unique challenges that college voters face. “The idea behind the Campus Vote Project came about because young people every election have been vastly underrepresented at the polls,” Spaulding said. “They face challenges that no other age group faces, students even more so. Students often lack the information about when, where and how to register to vote. They also face problems with having proper identification and access to transportation to get to the polls.”