Washington, D.C. – Earlier today, HR 1, the For the People Act, was reported out of the House Administration Committee. The bill contains sweeping reforms to improve the function of elections and increase governmental accountability, including the adoption of several provisions contained within the Help Students Vote Act (HSVA). Introduced as a standalone bill last session, the HSVA is designed to help students access the ballot box and get the information they need to cast their vote. Youth voting increased by 10 percent in the last federal election, and these provisions aim to build on that elevated level of civic engagement.
In response to the new language added to HR 1, Reid Setzer, Director of Public Policy for Young Invincibles, issued the following statement:
“Across the country, too many students don’t have the information they need to register to vote, find their polling location, and actually vote. This new language added by the Committee empowers colleges to build on their missions of developing informed and engaged citizens by ensuring their students can get their questions answered by a trusted source right on their campus.
Any bill designed to reduce barriers to voting must address the challenges that students face when trying to cast their ballot. These new provisions will help students nationwide overcome the barriers they face when trying to register, find their polling place, and make their voice heard into 2020 and beyond.”
The new HSVA language added to HR1 would:
- Direct colleges to designate a campus administrator as “Campus Vote Coordinator” as the go-to source for students with questions about voter registration
- Ensure the campus is consistently communicating with students about registration deadlines and upcoming elections, and that voter registration forms are easily accessible
- Allow public and private institutions of higher education to apply for federal grants to expand nonpartisan student voter engagement efforts