UC President Drake, Board of Regents Vice Chair Leib sign resolution with California Secretary of State Weber to Affirm Partnership Aimed at Increasing Student Participation in Elections

UC and CA MOU Signing Press Conference in the courtyard of Shields Library on June 29, 2022. | Credit: Karin Higgins/UC Davis

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University of California President Michael V. Drake, M.D., and Board of Regents Vice Chair Richard Leib today (June 29) joined California Secretary of State Shirley N. Weber, Ph.D., in signing a joint resolution to increase student participation in elections. The resolution affirms UC’s longstanding partnership with the Secretary of State’s office to increase voter participation by eligible University students, faculty, staff and surrounding UC campus community members.

Civic engagement is a foundational value at the University of California. Our system has undertaken campus and systemwide efforts to provide students with information on registering to vote and participating in elections, as well as hosting state-approved voting centers so that students, staff, faculty and community members may cast their ballots on Election Day. UC students turned out in force in 2020 — more than 75 percent of those who were eligible to vote that year did so, up from less than half who participated in 2016.

“The University of California remains actively committed to cultivating and supporting civic engagement among our students and campus communities,” said Michael V. Drake, M.D., president of the University of California. “I’m very pleased to sign this resolution affirming our strong partnership with the Secretary of State to encourage young Californians to exercise their right to vote. We’re grateful to Secretary Weber for her leadership and her commitment to encouraging student participation in our democracy.”

The resolution between the University of California and the Secretary of State affirms their joint commitment to facilitating greater access to ballot drop boxes or voting locations on campuses, and to ensuring that voters are aware of all voting options. In addition, the resolution encourages both parties to foster civic engagement among students, faculty, staff and the greater community, and it includes a commitment from UC to continue educating students and community members about registering to vote and participating in elections. The resolution also establishes that each campus designates a point of contact that will coordinate the dissemination of voting information and the presence of drop box and voting center locations at each campus ahead of the Tuesday, November 8 general election.

“We are committed not only to cultivating the next generation of voters, but also a new generation of active, engaged citizens who will value and protect the institutions of democracy,” said California Secretary of State Shirley N. Weber, Ph.D. “Because demands of democracy don’t stop when we cast our ballot, we want to encourage college students to support our democracy through participating in civic and voter education programs, volunteering as poll workers, and by encouraging their peers, family members, and community to register to vote and participate in elections.”

Recently, the University of California relaunched its “UC Votes” campaign to encourage members of the university community to inform themselves about the recent primary and upcoming general elections. The UC Votes campaign hopes to build on that momentum for 2022. UC Votes guides users through the voter registration process and provides timely, nonpartisan information about voter registration, how to cast a vote by mail or in person, ballot content, polling locations and timing, and other information. The website also allows UC community members to pledge to vote and offers an email sign-up for helpful reminders before Election Day to ensure voters are prepared.

“The University of California is a proud supporter of the state’s efforts to promote civic engagement. This resolution builds on our long history of public service, voter education and registration efforts,” said Richard Leib, vice chair of the University of California Board of Regents. “I am excited to sign this resolution and look forward to continuing to partner with Secretary Weber to further our shared goals of increasing voter turnout among our students and communities.”

The University of California will continue to partner with Secretary Weber and leaders across the state to encourage Californians to get informed, register to vote and participate in the upcoming elections. In the months ahead, the University of California will provide voting information to its communities and conduct outreach via social media channels and the UC Votes website. The University is also sharing election information via e-newsletters and other communications channels designed to reach UC faculty, staff and alumni.

The attached photo may be used with credit to Karin Higgins. Media interested in additional photos from the event may reach out to the University of California Office of the President’s media relations team at media@ucop.edu.


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