Mount Saint Mary’s University was the winner in the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities’ division for the campus with the most creative approach to registering students in the 2020 Ballot Bowl.
To select the winner of the most creative category, the Secretary of State’s office reviewed the participants’ submitted voter outreach plans.
The Mount’s “Why I Vote” initiative received a lot of attention from students, staff and faculty alike. This year, MSMU Votes shirts were delivered to more than 150 students, staff, faculty, trustees and friends of the Mount, and the MSMU Votes Zoom backgrounds were extremely popular.
The Mount’s civic engagement plan also included:
* virtual voter registration
* information on how to become a poll worker
* California ballot measure overviews
* documentary screenings
* MSMU Votes speaker series
* programs on staying engaged post-election
“We are incredibly proud of our efforts for the election,” says Chinako Belanger, interim director for women's leadership and student engagement. She noted that the University received a small grant from the California Secretary of State’s office to assist with outreach efforts.
The Ballot Bowl, an initiative of the California StudentsVoteProject, had an overwhelming response with 95 campuses taking part in 2020 compared to 46 campuses during the inaugural competition in 2018. The inaugural event led to nearly 11,000 student voter registrations. Fast forward to 2020’s campaign, in which that tally reached 82,634, a nearly 87% increase.