Campus: CSSA -- November 3, 2004

California State University Students Successful at Getting Out the Student Vote

After registering over 29,000 new voters across the state, student leaders at California State University's 23 campuses set out to remind their peers to participate in the national election. Their efforts helped to increase national turn out among young people, ages 18-29, by 9.3%.

"We are really pleased with the results of our efforts statewide," said Manolo Platin, Chair of the California State Student Association. "It represents the highest youth turnout in more than a decade, 4 percentage points higher than the previous peak year of 1992." On Election Day 2004, young people participated in considerably larger numbers than they had in the past, keeping pace with the higher overall turnout for Americans of all ages, according to CIRCLE -- an organization that has conducted, collected, and funded research on the civic and political participation of young Americans since 2001. (http://www.civicyouth.org/)

Each campus did something unique to target their campus population: Many students ran non-partisan phone banks to tell student about polling locations and hours. Others worked with their administration to send out campus wide emails or went go door-to-door in the dorms to remind students to cast their votes.

"This is great news, considering how much turnout is up across the board. It shows that our efforts really made a difference," said Nicole DeMartini, CSSA representative for the Associated Students at CSU Chico. Students leaders at her campus registered over 4,000 new students to vote in yesterday's election - the most of any one campus, according to numbers collected by the California State Student Association. When asked about her campus success, Nicole replied, "We made non-partisan voter registration, voter education, and get-out-the-vote a top priority this Fall."

At CSU Fullerton, the student government mounted an extensive non-partisan public relations campaign to remind students to vote: They placed posters and flyers all over campus; set up tables in common areas to reach out to passing students; and worked with the University President, Dr. Gordon, to film and show a public service announcement regarding the importance of voting. Students also gave away bookmarks, bumper stickers and trendy wristbands to remind peers to go to the polls. Phil Vasquez, the student body president at CSUF says, "The response has been amazing and it is great that the national numbers are reflecting our efforts here in California."

Nationally, at least 20.9 million Americans under the age of 30 voted in yesterday's election. This is an increase of 4.6 million over 20001 , and the turnout rate among these voters rose from about 42.3% to 51.6%, a sharp rise of 9.3 percentage points, according to final national exit polls and an early tally of votes cast.

About the CSSA
It is the mission of the California State Student Association (CSSA) to maintain and enhance accessibility to quality education for the people of California at the California State University- the People's University. As the single recognized voice for the 400,000-plus students of the CSU system, CSSA is the acknowledged statewide student organization representing, serving, and protecting the collective interests of students in the CSU system.

CSSA Media Contact: Manolo Platin, 707-826-4221, (Mobile) 707-616-4741, mplatin@csustudents.org

1 Results for 2004 are calculated using the National Election Pool exit polls (conducted by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International) and a preliminary tally of votes cast, as reported by the Associated Press at 6 am on November 3. CIRCLE's national turnout estimates and estimates of the youth share of the electorate are calculated by aggregating the 51 exit polls and vote tallies for the states and the District of Columbia. The same methodology is used to calculate figures for 2000. One caution in interpreting these estimates is that exit polls do not always adequately represent the proportion of voters by age. As a result, youth turnout and the numbers of votes cast by young people are estimates for all election years. www.civicyouth.org


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