NSLVE can let colleges and universities know about the voting habits of their students. While culling this data to share with schools, it is added to a national database. Which we think is great. The aggregation of this data from campuses nationwide is of interest and use to scholars, researchers, and educational institutions alike. Participation is safe and secure. The folks at Tufts utilize publicly available records of the students enrolled at your institution from the nonprofit the National Student Clearinghouse. Next they access public voting records obtained by the reputable database Catalyst. From this data NSLVE tells you your school’s voting rate, registration rate, and rate of registered voters who voted.
Moving forward schools can utilize this data to tailor their plans to for engagement on their campus. Helping schools to realize these goals part of the aim of NSLVE and why we advocate for it at CEEP. Unknown to some, in 2012 the Department of Education actually issued a “call to action” for universities and colleges to do what they can to increase engagement and access to voting resources. NSLVE is another way to help campuses integrate these action plans.
Students are among the groups affected by voter suppression, and everything we as a society can do to ensure these students are voting just further ensures the continuation of our democratic values. This week is Thomas Jefferson’s 273rd birthday, and perhaps he said it best in 1808, "Having labored faithfully in establishing the right of self-government, [we] see in the rising generation, into whose hands it is passing, that purity of principle and energy of character which will protect and preserve it through their day, and deliver it over to their sons as they receive it from their fathers."