1.6 million students

Blog Post

Yesterday was National Voter Registration Day, and the Student PIRGs’ New Voters Project and thousands of other youth volunteers were out in full force to help their peers register to vote and participate in our democracy. I’m so inspired by the youth taking action this week, who didn’t let the new reality of virtual learning get in the way of organizing. Yesterday, we helped one voter register every 48 seconds for 15 hours — read on for more highlights from the day!

A student-led day of action

We believe in amplifying the voice of young people, giving them the tools and skills to take their energy and passion and turn it into concrete change. Already, the New Voters Project has hired more than 1,400 interns to work with us this fall to turn out the youth vote and make sure students are voting safely. Student leaders, such as Deja and Chase below, made the day a huge success, planning and executing dozens of events that got the word out far and wide, ultimately reaching out to an estimated 1.6 million college students with information about how to register and vote safely during the pandemic.

Deja Mason, Georgia PIRG Events Coordinator, Spelman College

Deja helped organize visibility events to spread the word about the importance of registering to vote in Georgia. She worked with more than a dozen interns throughout the day to post on social media, reach out to friends and activate their class group chats. In total, the Georgia team reached over 100,000 of their peers. Pictured left is Deja giving a mid day update on Instagram Live!

Chase Barnhill, NCPIRG Visibility Coordinator, North Carolina State University

Chase played a big role in raising awareness on eight campuses in North Carolina. She spoke to the media for the first time with reporters from Business Insider and a local CBS affiliate and participated in a ”Reg and Pledge Outreach Competition,” a competition between student leaders from across the state where they called friends, texted classmates, and took a variety of other actions to see who could do the most outreach to help fellow students safely register and pledge to vote. Here is Chase at the National Voter Registration Day kickoff event!


Events at 100 campuses

Our team of organizers and student leaders organized dozens of events at 100 college campuses to reach their peers, including text and phone banks, virtual class announcements, trainings, panels, social media parties, and more to spread the word about voter registration.

This included events such as training the University of Oregon’s athletics teams to reach out to their peers to make sure they were registered to vote and coordinating a competition between university dorms to see who could register the most students. Students also took creative approaches to spreading the word, such as working with professors to change their Zoom backgrounds to link to our voter registration tool at StudentVote.org and take time out of class to talk about the importance of voting.

All in all, despite being virtual, students were fired up to make sure their peers were registered to vote and had a plan to make their voice heard this Election Day!

About The Student PIRGs’ New Voters Project

PIRG New Voters Project, Inc. is a non-partisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization with 4945(f) status. We work on 100 campuses across the country to activate the largest voting bloc in the country. Young people continue to be underrepresented in our democracy, so we work to make sure every student has the opportunity to have their voice heard in our elections by building a culture of civic engagement on college campuses. We engage students, faculty, and administrators to build lasting systems of voter engagement for the long term.

Since 1984, our field based, non-partisan effort helped to register over 2 million young people and make over 3 million Get out the Vote contacts reminding young people where, when, and how to vote. We have tested new field models to ensure we are running the most effective civic engagement program possible. One study of our program showed that 76.3 percent of the voters we helped to register turned out to the polls, among the highest rates of all non-partisan voter registration efforts. 68.8 percent of voters we helped to register were brand-new registrants, making the project one of the most effective ways to bring new voters into the electoral process.


About The Student PIRGs
Students have the right and the responsibility to shape the future we will inherit. Our program spans over 100 campuses in 11 states, of which 35 campuses have self-funding programs, that provide the training, professional support and resources students need to tackle climate change, protect public health, revitalize our democracy, feed the hungry and more. Students have been at the forefront of social change throughout history, from civil rights, to voting rights to protecting the environment. For over 40 years we’ve helped our campus communities get organized, mobilized and energized so they can continue to be on the cutting edge of positive change. Every year, over 4,000 students gain hands-on experience in organizing and activism by volunteering with us to generate 150,000 grassroots actions.