Baylor Students Encouraged to Participate in Census, Register to Vote

September 22, 2020
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Baylor University is committed to ensuring that students have the necessary resources and opportunities for eager and informed civic participation. This year provides students two major chances for national civic engagement: the census and the general election.

Census

Every 10 years, the United States Census Bureau takes a count of every person living in the U.S. through the census. Census data is used to distribute more than $675 billion in federal funding to tribal, state and local governments for schools, hospitals, public safety, roads, public works and more. Additionally, census data is considered in the redistricting of state legislature districts, future transportation needs and determining areas eligible for housing assistance.

Without an accurate census count, Texas could lose more than $43 billion per year, including funds for Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the National School Lunch Program, Section 8 Housing Vouchers and more. A complete census count ensures that resource funding is allocated accurately.

While it may seem natural for students to participate in their hometown census, the census is intended for individuals to fill out at their “usual residence,” or the residence they live in for the majority of the year.

Most Baylor students spend at least eight months in Waco during the academic year, while only spending holidays and summer at their permanent residence. Because they spend the majority of the year living in Waco, Baylor students are strongly encouraged to participate in the Waco census to ensure an accurate count and distribution of funding for community resources they utilize.

To learn more about the census and to participate in the 2020 census, visit whyicountwaco.org.

Voter registration

While college student voter participation increased from the 2014 midterm election to the 2018 midterm election, less than half of all eligible college students cast a ballot in 2018. Eligible Baylor community members are strongly encouraged to check their registration status, register to vote and participate in the upcoming 2020 general election to make their voice heard.

Baylor announced in June a commitment to 100% student voter registration and participation, joining the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. By signing the pledge, Baylor committed to ensuring that all eligible students are able to register to vote and cast informed ballots in the 2020 general election on Nov. 3 and beyond.

Many departments, organizations and groups across campus have offered educational and involvement opportunities. For ways to get involved, consider:

  • "19: 100 Years of Preserving Voters' Rights" virtual panel, viewable at baylor.edu/library/19
  • "One Vote" documentary film Campus Couch Party at 6 p.m., Oct. 5. Visit onevote.us for more information on the film.
  • Become a volunteer deputy registrar to officially register voters in the state of Texas. Contact your County Voter Registrar for information on volunteering.
  • For more information on the voter registration process and additional voter education, please contact Baylor's Office of Governmental Relations.

    Students, faculty and staff can check their voter registration status, learn how to register, find information about the election process and more at vote.gov.

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