The Student Organized Voter Access Committee (SOVAC) is a non-partisan committee under the Office of External Affairs of the Associated Students (A.S.), UC San Diego’s undergraduate student government.
Our committee seeks to increase voter registration rates within the UCSD community, facilitate a positive discussion about voting, and encourage student voter turnout. SOVAC performs these services by being the primary representative for voter registration on the UCSD campus, holding informational workshops and speaker series, executing a non-partisan advertising campaign, and collaboration with a wide variety of student groups and external organizations.
We also collaborate with the UC Student Association (UCSA) and help fulfill the goals of their UCweVOTE standing campaign. For more information, go to http://ucsa.org/category/standing-campaigns/ucwevote/.
Through cooperation with student groups like the College Democrats, College Republicans, and the Student Sustainability Coalition, as well as the college councils on all 6 campus across UCSD, SOVAC has managed to carve out a niche for itself within the UCSD community and become the face of voter registration here on campus.
It would be difficult to understate the importance of Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with Residential Life and the University Library. Through these signed agreements of good-faith between SOVAC and campus administration, SOVAC has gained exclusive incorporation into the move-in process during move-in weekend and access to tabling inside Geisel Library.
The MOUs have granted us incorporation into several processes every student must complete and one-on-one contact with students, enabling us to register over 1200 UCSD students since Fall 2015 (with 1000 coming from move-in week alone). We are optimistic this number with continue to grow.
SOVAC is confident that strong relationships between between voter registration groups and campus administration can occur on all college campuses. With the help of California Common Cause and the UC Student Association, we hope to spread our model of institutionalized voter registration all over California and ultimately across the country.