An initiative started by the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee within Stanford Athletics has been promoting voter registration for student-athletes on all varsity sports and athletics department staff. The committee, a part of Stanford’s Department of Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation, partnered with StanfordVotes to supply voting information and resources ahead of the upcoming election.
The initiative began on National Voter Registration Day, Sept. 22, with the goal of registering all eligible voters before Nov. 3. Currently, 31 of 36 varsity sports have reached 100% voter registration for eligible voters, including men’s and women’s basketball.
“Voting is the lifeblood of our country’s democracy. I encourage everyone to use our power at the ballot box and fight for the change we hope to see,” women’s basketball coach Tara VanDerveer said on the StanfordVotes athletics page.
StanfordVotes is a non-partisan, student-run organization working to increase student voter turnout. Created after the 2016 election, voter turnout among Stanford students has increased from 16.9% in 2014 to 42.7% in 2018. Co-Director Liana Keesing is also a sophomore on the women’s fencing team.
“Voting matters because it’s my chance to help make change and stand up for my beliefs. My vote is being cast in protection of our environment and for all of the Americans who deserve better treatment from the government,” Women’s swimming and diving senior Brooke Forde said to StanfordVotes, in a quote on their athletes page.
No teams will hold mandatory practices or meetings on Nov. 3 to encourage student-athletes and staff to vote.
“Just like you make your own life better by surrounding yourself with good people, voting gives you the chance to make the lives of the people in your country and community better by electing good people to your government,” Men’s track and field junior Miles Zoltak said to StanfordVotes.
Contact Jeremy Rubin at jjmrubin ‘at’ stanford.edu.