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Campus Democracy Project

Campus Democracy Project

"In the Catholic Tradition, responsible citizenship is a virtue, and participation in political life is a moral obligation."

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship

The CDP is organized by a University-wide committee co-chaired by a professor of political science and a student leader.

Volunteer Opportunities

Voting is not the only way to participate in the election process. You can also participate through various volunteer opportunities in your community.

1. Poll Worker - Individuals who assist at the poll locations. To become a poll worker, a citizen must be a registered voter. There are many levels of poll workers, all of which an individual is adequately trained for. Depending on the type of poll worker, a citizen can be paid $100-$250.

2. Campaign Teams - Aside from making monetary donations, individuals can campaign for a candidate in many ways, with phone calls being the most popular. To volunteer for a campaign, visit a candidate’s official website and look for the “Volunteer” tab.

3. Election Protection - The nation’s largest non-partisan voter protection coalition. Volunteers can help by serving in the hotline center and calling registered voters the day before Election Day. Volunteers can also be deployed to poll locations to ensure the process is running correctly.

Voter Registration Information

Voting Methods

Preparing to Vote

Within two weeks of registering to vote, you will receive your voter registration card. The card will have your full name, date of birth, permanent address, voter registration number, date of registration, party affiliation, and the location of your assigned poll center. You can only report to the poll center that is listed on your voter registration card. You will not be able to cast a ballot at a poll center that is not listed on your card.

The Electoral Process

An election is the process by which citizens select men and women they want to run their government. Citizens usually group together based on their beliefs on specific issues such as immigration, education, and healthcare. These groups are known as political parties. Although the Democrats and Republicans remain the largest political parties, others exist such as the Independent Party, Reform Party, Green Party, and Socialist Party, Populist Party.

When citizens vote for a mayor, senator, or judge they are voting directly for that person. This is not the case when voting for presidency. Instead, citizens are voting for an elector who has pledged to elect the presidential candidate. Such electors are chosen by each state and are called the Electoral College. This body of people is responsible for directly electing the President and Vice President. Each state has as many votes in the Electoral College as it has senators and members of the House of Representatives. A large state, like California, has a larger amount of votes in the Electoral College compared to a less populated state like Alaska.

Although the American public has an accurate projection for the presidential election within a few hours after the polls close, it only becomes official when the Electoral College meets in December and seals in its votes. Candidates must receive a majority of the 538 electoral votes (at least 270) in order to become President or Vice President.

Typically, the general public’s vote and the Electoral College’s vote match. But there have been four cases in which the person who became U.S. President did so not by popular vote, but by the vote of the Electoral College (Rutherford Hayes, Benjamin Harrison, John Quincy Adams, and George W. Bush).

Read more about the Electoral Process here:

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