CDCE has awarded a civic engagement grant to TerpsVote to support the TerpsVote Voting Ambassadors program and the TerpsVote TurboVote sign up competition. Each of these exciting programs are described below.
TerpsVote Voting Ambassadors
The TerpsVote ambassador program is in place for the first time this fall and is running from September 21 through November 7. Voting Ambassadors are UMD students who are passionate about engaging their peers in the voting process for the Fall 2020 election. They are knowledgeable about the voting procedures for college students and serve as a resource to their peers to help promote voting. Students are able to participate in this program remotely from wherever they reside.
In order to become TerpsVote Ambassadors, students must attend a training session run by TerpsVote and the Campus Election Engagement Project either on September 21 or September 25. After the training, they will be tasked with understanding the procedures for registration and voting in MD, as well as other states from which UMD students come from, including New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Massachusetts.
The ambassadors are required to make a commitment to non-partisan activities. Voting Ambassadors cannot promote individual candidates, parties, and issues while serving with TerpsVote, but will connect students to information from non-partisan sources. The ambassadors will also complete weekly tasks to help inform their fellow students about important voting information, including registration deadlines, absentee/mail-in ballot information, where to find resources to get informed to vote, etc. Weekly tasks may include: posting TerpsVote branded content on social media, making class announcements about voting, talking about voting with a student organization of which they are a member, and communicating individually with students to help them through the voting process. They will also complete weekly reporting to collect data of the reach of their efforts, including the approximate number of students reached, social media post response (likes/shares/reposts), and common questions they get from students/misinformation they had to address.
TerpsVote TurboVote Sign-Up Competition
TurboVote (umd.turbovote.org) is a web platform funded by the Student Government Association that allows UMD students from any state to register to vote online. In addition to voter registration, TurboVote helps students check where they’re registered to vote, update their mailing address, request a mail-in ballot, make a plan to vote, and sign up for election updates and reminders. Signing up for TurboVote is an important way to get messaging out to students about the election.
For this competition, TerpsVote will be partnering with the five Greek councils on campus: the Interfraternity Council (IFC), the Multicultural Greek Council (MGC), the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), the Professional Greek Council (PGC), and the Panhellenic Association (PHA). The councils will help encourage each Greek chapter or organization in their council to register for this competition. Each chapter or organization that signs up will receive a custom TurboVote link (https://umd.turbovote.org/?r=[OrganizationName]) that they can use to sign up members and other students for TurboVote. They will also receive a packet of five informational graphics with information about voter registration, mail-in voting, safe in-person voting, and voter education.
For each person who signs up for TurboVote through an organization’s custom link and for each infographic posted on social media with the hashtag #TerpsVoteOrganizationName, the organization or chapter will receive one point. At the end of the competition, which will run from September 29 through October 9, each organization’s final score will be calculated. The top three organizations will win a sum of money split up from this grant to be used for their philanthropic and/or charitable efforts. The top prize winner will receive $500, second place will receive $300, and third place will receive $200.