At its core, TX Votes is a family of political nerds who love voting and pizza. That means that we register thousands of Longhorns to vote and eat an embarrassing amount of pizza.
Each election cycle, TX Votes, in partnership with the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life, organizes and coordinates Get Out the Vote activities including registration booths, deputization sessions, campus competitions and voting celebrations. During off election years, TX Votes educates the UT community and engages in respectful and civil discourse on important issues. Over the last few years, we have seen our family grow in both membership and impact on our campus. We are proud to say that as a nonpartisan organization, we have created the UT Civic Engagement Alliance and facilitated UT’s participation in the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge and the Campus Vote Project’s Voter Friendly Campus Designation.
What is the Civic Engagement Alliance
The Civic Engagement Alliance is a collaborative nonpartisan effort of over 100 UT Austin organizations and institutes, convened by TX Votes, to improve voter engagement, as well as other forms of civic engagement, on campus. Participation is very simple: 1. Choose a rep to attend one meeting per semester. 2. Register the students in your organization to vote. 3. Share nonpartisan voting information around election time. (A list of all CEA members can be found at the bottom of this page.)
This collaborative effort has been a huge contributing reason for the improved voter engagement on campus. At UT Austin, we saw voter turnout improve by 15% from 2012 to 2016 and expect to receive data with similar results for 2018. Collaborative events by CEA organizations take place on campus every year, including the "Last Day to Register to Vote" Celebration, VoteFest, Election Night Watch Parties, and Civics Formal. Money raised by CEA members will be used toward CEA events.
Why Should You Support This Project?
Civic engagement in the state of Texas is abysmal, but UT Austin students consistently vote at higher rates than the rest of the state. Texas constantly ranks as one of the lowest states for voter turnout. Research shows that individuals need to start voting at a young age if they are to create a habit of voting. Students at the University of Texas represent communities across the state that will benefit from increased voter turnout in the future. In addition, many voters lack the information they need to vote and do not know who or what to turn to in order to get that information. We want to be considered a trusted source that will provide nonpartisan information that especially relates to UT students. Lastly, the students who participate in TX Votes walk away with skills, experiences, and connections that will help them in their future. We want to be able to provide this opportunity to all students who are interested in joining TX Votes.
What Will You Be Funding as a Donor?
The money raised during the annual TX Votes Hornraiser accounts for 75% of our budget, excluding pay for staff support, which is provided by the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life. Our regular expenses include: materials needed for voter registration (clipboards, pens, sticky notes, etc), cost for the approximately eight on-campus events we host every year, food for TX Votes and CEA meetings, t-shirts, and recruitment materials. We also plan to invite more speaks to campus. This project will allow us to bring in different members of government - both elected and appointed - to speak with members of the UT community. We hope this, in addition to more civic discourse and government training for TX Votes members, will allow UT students to be more engaged both on campus and in their communities.
We are Growing and Evolving
We hope to continue to grow both in membership and reach on campus. Over the past three years, we have grown from just four members to over 30 members. In 2016, members of TX Votes and Civic Engagement Alliance registered over 17 thousand people on campus to vote. In 2018, another 13 thousand people were registered to vote. We hope to grow even more before the 2020 election. In order to accommodate growth and capitalize on the ideas of UT students, we are rebranding the organization to ensure that both political participation and political education are central to the identity of the University of Texas. The money you donate will be central to TX Votes continuing this high-level student engagement.
Thank you! Without your help, none of our success could be possible!
Participating CEA Organizations Include: 314 Action UT Austin, ADPACALA/TLA (American Library Association/Texas Library Association) School of Information, Alpha Phi Alpha, American Medical Student Association, Amnesty International, Asian Business Students Association (ABSA), Association of Black Psychologists, Austin Collegiate DECA, Austin’s Bright Future, Black Student Alliance, Campus Environmental Center, Caribbean Students Association, CLUTCH, CNS Honors, College Republicans, CommSGC, Communication Council, CRPSO, Dance Action, Dean’s Scholars, Delta Epsilon Mu, Doctors Without Borders at UT Austin, Euphoria ATX, Feminist Action Project, Feminist Latinx Organization Empowering Society, Feminist Policy Alliance at the LBJ School, Generation Citizen, Graduate Women in Computing, Health Advocacy Student Coalition, Hindu Students Association, Hockey Horns, Honors Quad RHC, Hook The Vote, Ignite, International Affairs Society, Jolt at UT, Kappa Rho Pre-Medical Honor Society, Keep Austin Wizard, Lambda Alpha Nu, League of Women Voters - AA Longhorn Unit, Liberal Arts Council, Liberal Arts Refugee alliance, Longhorn Band Student Association, Longhorn Kiva, Longhorn Legislative Aides, Longhorns for Voting Reform, Mixed martial arts at ut Austin, Move Texas Longhorn Chapter, NAACP at UT Austin, Natural Sciences Council, Net Impact, Nueces Mosque, One Note Stand A Cappella, Orange Jackets, Orange Outreach, Oxfam UT, Secular Student Alliance at UT Austin, Seva Charities, Sigma Delta Tau, Society of Hispanic Engineers (SHPE), Socks for the Sole, Student Conduct Advisory Committee, Student Council for Exceptional Children (SCEC), Student Engineering Council, Students Expanding Austin Literacy (SEAL), Tejas Club, Texas Ballroom, Texas Belles Event Planning Organization, Texas Blazers, Texas Bluebonnets, Texas Circle K International, Texas Civic Tech Project, Texas Electronic, Texas Friar Society, Texas Girl Gang, Texas Health Promotion Club, Texas Hillel, Texas Ladybirds, Texas Nutrition, Texas Political Union, Texas Public Health, Texas Rising, Texas Spirits, Texas Tower PR, Texas Water Ski, Texas Women's Rugby, The Language Campaign, The Student Association of the School of Information (SASI), The Texas Orator, Theta Tau - Co-Ed Professional Engineering Fraternity, TX Votes, University Democrats, UT LULAC, UT National Association of Black Journalists, UT Service Scholars, UT Ukes, Voting Graduate Student Agency - Graduate Student Assembly, Women in Foreign Affairs, and Young Invincibles.
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Cold Drinks for Orientation
Cold drinks shared with incoming freshmen during summer orientation recruitment out on the very hot Gregory Plaza.
The Civic Engagement Alliance is a non-partisan coalition of student groups, which TX Votes has brought together to increase civic engagement on campus. In 2016, CEA members came together to register over 17,000 people to vote.
TX Votes organizes events for students, holds meetings, leads the Civic Engagement Alliance, and encourages civic participation for all students across the UT campus. This will help us fund these efforts for a semester.