Wednesday, December 17, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Bill calls for voting sites on campus

By
From page A1 | February 19, 2013 |

By Ellen Huet

In November, politically minded students at San Francisco State University worked doggedly to get 4,000 fellow students registered to vote before the presidential election — but felt frustrated when they couldn’t promise the new voters a polling place on campus.

“Since we were doing such a large registration effort, we felt it was important to supplement our efforts, to make sure those who registered actually went out and voted,” said Raymond Parenti-Kurttila, a San Francisco State senior.

Under proposed legislation from state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, introduced last week, students at San Francisco State — and any other California State University or University of California campus — would be guaranteed an on-campus polling place for any primary or general election held in the county. SB 240 would not require polling places for community colleges, because most community college students already live nearby.

In a similar move catered toward the youth vote, Yee passed legislation last year that would allow residents to register to vote or change addresses online. Almost 800,000 Californians registered to vote online, about 60 percent of whom were younger than 35, according to statistics provided by Yee’s office.

Adam Keigwin, Yee’s spokesman, said SB 240 is just expanding on the idea behind online voting. “If you make participating in elections easier, people will use it, especially young people,” Keigwin said.

It’s unclear whether the bill, if passed, would lead to higher voter participation among UC and CSU students. Most of the campuses already had on-campus polling places during the November election, and several campuses had multiple polling locations.

Sixteen of the 23 CSU campuses had polling places in November, said CSU spokesman Mike Uhlenkamp. The San Jose, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Bakersfield and Stanislaus campuses did not have polls, and Maritime and East Bay campuses offered shuttle services from the campus to nearby polling locations.

Of the UCs, only Riverside did not have an on-campus polling place on Election Day, said Steve Montiel, a spokesman for the UC Office of the President. (At UC Davis, students voted in the Memorial Union.)

Many students are registered to vote in other counties or states, which means they wouldn’t be able to vote at the on-campus polling places and would have to use vote-by-mail ballots. Since mail voting was first offered in the 1970s, the option has steadily risen in popularity. The November election marked the first time more Californians voted by mail than at the precinct — 51 to 49 percent.

Officials were not able to provide breakdowns of how many students vote by precinct as opposed to voting by mail. Generally, mail voters are older, and Bay Area voters are also more likely than voters in other counties to vote by mail, according to a 2009 Field Poll study. Parenti-Kurttila thinks the bill would make it easier for students to vote during short breaks between classes and would lead to more civically engaged students.

“I think just to create a little more of a homogenous culture in ensuring all universities have polling places on the campus works to ensure students have access and engage in the process,” he said.

San Francisco State lobbied successfully for a polling site on campus in November, but both sides said they had been frustrated with the process. Parenti-Kurttila said he and other students seeking the polling place encountered “a lot of resistance from the department” of elections.

John Arntz, the director of the city Department of Elections, said that setting up polling places at CSU campuses was more complicated than at other city locations because the school had complex regulations and permitting processes, and the experience had “sometimes been challenging.”

San Francisco State had a polling place on campus for the 2008 presidential election.

— Reach Ellen Huet at ehuet@sfchronicle.com

Comments

comments

San Francisco Chronicle

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

     
    Million Cat Challenge aims to rescue shelter felines

    By Pat Bailey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Everest visit fulfills judge’s lifelong dream

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Supervisors remove Saylor from First 5 Yolo Commission

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

    GPAS and test scores up for UCD’s newest undergrads

    By Julia Ann Easley | From Page: A1

     
    Fatal Capay crash leads to driver’s arrest

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

    U.S., Cuba seek to normalize relations

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Water officials fret over rain’s effects

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

    Bob Dunning: Not enough hours in the month

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

     
    Donate to STEAC at Original Steve’s

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Beer and film tour boosts bike group’s coffers

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Yolo Crisis Nursery in full swing

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Creative women share food, friendship

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Pedal around Davis on weekly bike ride

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Traditional carols service is Saturday at St. Martin’s

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Have coffee with the mayor on Friday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Stockings brighten holidays for special kids

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Evening tai chi classes start Jan. 6

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Overeaters get support at meetings

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Fibro Friends will update their journals

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Input sought on county’s facility needs

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Name Droppers: Law prof earns peace prize for nonfiction

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Community menorah lighting set Wednesday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Latest immunization data shows little improvement locally

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A5

    School board will vote on repairs, new portables

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A6

     
    Study: National monument could boost local economy

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Parent/toddler art and music program offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    Libraries will be closed around the holidays

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    Cloudy — yet safe — tap water adds to negative health effects

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

     
    Round up at the registers for Patwin

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    Come Worship with Us

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

     
    .

    Forum

    This ought to teach her love

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Many thanks to The Avid Reader

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

    Language failed me that night, but not now

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A8

     
    Steve Sack cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A8

    Grand jury function clarified

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

     
    Defying Western academic norms

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

    Boycotters are our future profs

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Sports

    UCD reveals a challenging softball schedule

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Tumey talks about state of Aggie athletics, where they’re headed

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Davis gets Rio Linda as Curry Invitational starts Thursday

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Sports briefs: Former Aggie Descalso inks deal with Colorado

    By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B8

     
    Westbrook, Durant lead Thunder past Kings

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

    .

    Features

    Some vegetables just can’t be beet

    By Julie Cross | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Rena Sylvia Smilkstein

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Wednesday, December 17, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6