Cal State Fullerton won the biannual Ballot Bowl this year, as it had registered the most students through its online portal of any public California university.
Winning by nearly 1,000 registered voters, CSUF led the pack with 2,716 voters and was trailed in a distant second by Cal State Long Beach with 1,777 voters. The race tightened from there on, with Cal State Sacramento just 10 votes behind Long Beach.
The Ballot Bowl was developed to increase registration among college students, started by a partnership between CA Secretary of State Alex Padilla, a group of nonprofits and Gov. Gavin Newsom, when he served as Lt. Governor. His successor, Eleni Kounalakis, has continued the program.
Titans Turnout is an effort the university created a few years ago to promote civic engagement on campus, said Briana Calleros, government affairs specialist for the division of Government and Community Relations, in an email to the Daily Titan.
Calleros added that amid virtual instruction, CSUF formed a cross-campus civic engagement working group which led the endeavours to register voters, share information about the election and organize civic engagement programs.
“The work of the civic engagement working group and its cross-campus collaboration poised California State University, Fullerton to lead the statewide Ballot Bowl Competition, which is an incredible success,” Calleros said.
The Orange County Registrar, the chief office in charge of adding up the votes for OC, also partnered with the university to bring a voting center to campus at the Titan Student Union building again.
“The Orange County Registrar of Voters has a longstanding relationship with CSUF to host voting locations, provide speaking engagements and conduct on-campus outreach. We hope to continue this partnership with the CSUF community in the future,” said Jackie Wu, the office’s spokesperson.
The main CSUF campus saw over 1,000 voters drop off their ballots in person at the TSU on or before Election Day, and the Irvine campus saw an additional 557 voters come in.
Calleros said both sites had clearly defined safety protocols from the California secretary of state’s office, which oversees elections throughout the state.
Both locations were equipped with cleaning supplies such as disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer, face coverings, gloves and the staff were trained to disinfect on a regular basis throughout the day.
“Election workers receive safety instructions and training to include: cleaning and disinfection protocols, configuration for physical distancing, supplemented by traffic flow guidelines and placement of physical barriers where distancing is not possible, behaviors required of workers; and proper use of protective equipment,” Calleros said.
The CSUF men's basketball head coach Dedrique Taylor said that the team had registered in response to the racial unrest and social inequality across America and the world, according to the CSUF News Center.
At the TSU, the team wore Black Lives Matter T-shirts to vote while the players came together for the occasion to cast their votes.
According to Sean Collins, the interim director of Titan Athletics Communications, at least 170 student athletes voted, with men’s basketball as the only team where all 15 members voted, but track and field had the most total voters with 66 students.