Press Release: UMass Dartmouth first public university in Massachusetts to partner with TurboVote to expand on-campus voter outreach
Date: August 27, 2014
Department: Civic Engagement
Through this partnership with Democracy Works, UMass Dartmouth hopes to help improve voter engagement efforts on campus and use civic engagement as a mechanism to achieve broader learning objectives.
"The TurboVote platform is an important way UMass Dartmouth can build upon its nationally recognized commitment to civic engagement," said UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Divina Grossman. "The creative digital technology utilized with TurboVote will increase civic literacy and engagement and help enhance democratic participation within our community."
UMass Dartmouth is making steps to institutionalize voter engagement by integrating the technology into established processes. By embedding the platform into critical student interactions such as freshman orientation and class registration, UMass Dartmouth is ensuring that every student will have the materials and information he or she needs to vote in every election.
In the past year, UMass Dartmouth students have dedicated 195,063 hours of community service at a value of $5.3 million to the community. More than 100 UMass Dartmouth faculty members taught 170 service-learning sections this past academic year that exposed close to 5,000 students to service-learning, taking part in projects that benefit our community. This work has gained national recognition, making UMass Dartmouth one of 12 President Higher Education Honor Roll Finalists out of nearly 4,500 campuses nationwide. Washington Monthly has also ranked UMass Dartmouth at #25 on its list of best master's institutions in the United States, which focuses on the impact a university has on individuals and communities.
When students sign up with TurboVote, the system keeps track of all their elections---local, state, and national. If students wish to register, update their addresses or request absentee ballots, TurboVote sends them all the necessary forms and information with pre-addressed, pre-stamped envelopes. For every election, TurboVote sends text messages and email reminders with important election information, dates, and deadlines, to ensure that users never miss another election.
UMass Dartmouth's direct partnership with TurboVote will help the University to fully meet federal mandates that require institutions provide students with voter registration information. UMass Dartmouth hopes to help set a new standard for voter engagement in higher education.
"We hope that our partnership with TurboVote will provide a model for other higher education institutions, demonstrating civic engagement as an essential part of every student's college education," said UMass Dartmouth Student Trustee Jacob Miller '16. "Through voter outreach and other civic engagement initiatives, students are provided social, political, and educational opportunities to be part of efforts greater than themselves."
TurboVote is a project of Democracy Works, a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Brooklyn, New York, that is passionate about building the democracy of the future.
UMass Dartmouth distinguishes itself as a vibrant, public research university dedicated to engaged learning and innovative research resulting in personal and lifelong student success. The University serves as an intellectual catalyst for economic, social, and cultural transformation on a global, national, and regional scale.