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ARL Signs On to Statement on Voting Rights by Higher Education Organizations 

Today, the Association of Research Libraries signed on to the following “Statement on Voting Rights by Higher Education Organizations.”

Our educational institutions aspire to help create a just, vibrant, and democratic society.  Colleges and universities believe that fostering informed civic engagement is a central goal of a  postsecondary education. We teach students that there is no more important or better way to  nourish a flourishing democracy than by encouraging all eligible voters to exercise their right to  cast a ballot for the candidates of their choice.

We back up our rhetoric with action. Colleges often lead voter registration drives, serve as  polling places in their communities, and act as the public square for important civic  conversations. Indeed, every one of the presidential and vice presidential debates held in this  century has been on a college campus. Students themselves often play critical roles in these  efforts. College students were at the forefront of the struggle to ensure that the constitutional  right of Black citizens to vote was upheld in states and communities that sought to curtail those  rights. The cost of that work was measured in ballots cast, but also in blood and lives lost.

Expanding suffrage to include all citizens is a hallmark of American history. While not rapid,  smooth, or easy, four separate constitutional amendments and landmark legislation such as the  Voting Rights Act of 1965 have enabled more Americans to participate in our democracy.

For these reasons, just as the integrity of our electoral system is essential, we strongly oppose the  many efforts currently underway across the nation to suppress voting by qualified voters. We  stand with all who seek to expand rather than restrict voting and civic participation. We are  particularly concerned with proposals that would roll back some of that progress by raising  barriers to student voting, including prohibiting students from using their campus addresses to  register or qualify for absentee ballots.

Exercising the right to vote should not be controversial or challenging. The right to vote defines  us as a nation. We call on lawmakers to take action to ensure that civic participation in America  continues to move forward, not backward, and that the United States has the most inclusive and  equitable democracy in the world.

On behalf of:

Achieving the Dream

ACPA—College Student Educators International

American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education

American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers

American Association of Community Colleges

American Association of State Colleges and Universities

American Association of University Professors

American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges

American Council on Education

American Dental Education Association

American Indian Higher Education Association

APPA, “Leadership in Educational Facilities”

Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors

Association of American Colleges and Universities

Association of American Universities

Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities

Association of Community College Trustees

Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges

Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts

Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Pennsylvania

Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities

Association of Public and Land-grant Universities

Association of Research Libraries

Association of Schools Advancing Health Professions

Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health

Coalition of Urban & Metropolitan Universities

Common App

Council for Advancement and Support of Education

Council for Higher Education Accreditation

Council for Opportunity in Education

Council of Graduate Schools

Council of Independent Colleges

Council on Social Work Education



Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities

NAFSA: Association of International Educators

NASPA—Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education

National Association for College Admission Counseling

National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education

National Association of College and University Business Officers

National Association of Colleges and Employers

National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities

National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators

National Collegiate Athletic Association

Phi Beta Kappa Society

Physician Assistant Education Association