Who We Are
TX Votes is a student organization, sponsored by the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic life, that invites students campus wide to increase electoral participation and create more voters and better citizens. Each election cycle, we organize and coordinate Get Out the Vote activities including registration booths, deputization sessions, and campus competitions. TX Votes also convenes the Civic Engagement Alliance, which is a non-partisan coalition of over 50 student organizations. CEA members bring back what they learn from the CEA to their own organizations to talk about what civic engagement looks like for their own communities. The CEA also coordinates large campus events that promote voter engagement, like annual Last Night to Register to Vote celebrations.
What We’re Fundraising For
Civic engagement in the state of Texas is lacking, but following the 2018 midterm, there is real moment moving forward for young people. In 2018, UT Austin saw an increase of voter turnout of over 37%. Research shows that individuals need to start voting at a young age if they are to create a habit of voting. Students at UT Austin 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.
This year, our fundraising goal is at least $3,000. This will allow us to purchase TurboVote for one semester. TurboVote is a tool that will walk students through the voter registration and absentee ballot process, provide students with the postage-paid documents they will then need to sign and drop in the mail, and remind students of important election dates. Usually, we are able to provide most of these services in person, but given the uncertainty of this upcoming school year, we believe this is the best way we can support UT Austin students as they participate in the democratic process.
The money we raise as an organization sustains the work we do every year. With the 2020 Election quickly approaching, we expect to do more and have more members than we have had over the last five years. The money we raise supports our day-to-day needs, like clipboards, pens, and other materials we needed for registering students in over 500 classrooms. Those who donate through TX Votes ambassadors will support programs like our Tech & Politics series. Those who donate through CEA ambassadors will support large events that include many CEA members. Those events include the Last Day to Register to Vote Celebration, where well over 1,3000 students will be registered to vote in just one day, and VoteFest, which brings musicians, tacos, and pizza to campus to encourage students to find their way to their polling locations during early voting.