WASHINGTON – Student Action, an affiliate of People’s Action, today announced updated voter canvassing numbers, showing that the organization defied odds to build a robust student-to-student voter outreach program amid a pandemic. Their work turning out the student vote played a pivotal role in Biden’s win in Georgia and helped increase youth voter turnout across the country by a projected 11-12% from 2016.
“Student Action came into this election cycle as an underdog and emerged as a powerhouse,” Student Action Program Director Adiel Pollydore said. “The organizing we did to turn out the student vote was critical to flipping Georgia and propelling Biden to victory. We’re proud of the work we did and will turn this momentum into a lasting campaign to get free college for all nationwide.”
Biden’s margin of victory in Georgia hovers around 12,000 votes. Student Action called and texted 128,388 student voters attending public colleges and universities in Georgia, mainly focusing on Atlanta and Savannah, two cities delivering Biden his win. They also confirmed 4,550 students’ plans to vote for Biden, which is 37 percent of his margin of victory.
Traditional student organizing relies heavily on in-person techniques such a dorm storming, canvassing outside dining halls, and tabling in high-traffic areas. Student Action’s unique focus on relational organizing between students and their nationwide networks enabled them to facilitate a voter outreach program that called and texted 450,000 student voters across Georgia, Arizona, Texas, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois. Student Action’s nearly 800 volunteers from 44 states joined them to fill 2,800 volunteer shifts as part of their student-to-student voter contact program.
Student Action works to ensure that education in the U.S. is a human right, not a commodity. Last spring, they won tuition freezes at the University of Chicago and all Iowa public colleges, which helped save students and their families an estimated $13 million. Student Action is made up of colleges and universities in eight states, and most recently became the long term political home to many Students for Bernie organizers once Sen. Sanders dropped out of the presidential primary race earlier this year. Student Action will continue to galvanize student organizers and student voters to demand a free college for all in the Biden administration.