The Voice Your Vote Commission
("VYV") is a commission of the Michigan Student Assembly (MSA), the University of Michigan
's student government.
VYV exists for voter registration and mobilization purposes, and has three main goals:
- register University of Michigan students to vote,
- inform them on the issues, and
- get those students to the polls on Election Day.
The organization is completely non-partisan
, and takes great care never to advocate for a specific candidate or political position. Its slogan is "Hail to the Voters", a play on a phrase from the university's fight song, "The Victors".
In the 2006 election, VYV registered 4,896 students to vote in Michigan. Additionally, its efforts in mobilizing students to vote led to an increase in student voter turnout of over 130%, as 3,800 students cast ballots in on-campus polling locations in 2006, compared with only 1,500 in 2002, the last midterm election. VYV also conducted voter-registration drives at nearby Eastern Michigan University. In the final two days leading up to the voter-registration deadline, VYV registered 1,500 students, including 900 on October 10, 2006, the voter registration deadline.
VYV's voter-registration drive encompasses all areas of student life. Organizers frequently register students to vote in the center of the Diag, the heart of the University of Michigan
's central campus, and also conduct a two week, comprehensive, door-to-door voter-registration campaign in all student dorms, known as the Dorm Storm. VYV volunteers can also be found at numerous campus events such as Taste of Michigan, Escapade, Winterfest, Festifall, and home football games. As part of its voter-information campaign, VYV places informative bulletin boards with pertinent, non-partisan election information in all of the student dorms in the weeks leading up to an election. Information includes voting rights, requirements, recommendations, and information on both sides of all ballot initiatives, as well as candidate information and website links. VYV additionally organizes a concentrated publicity drive to keep Election Day
in the forefront of students' minds, with mass printing of t-shirts, stickers and bumper stickers, campus banners and posters, and give-aways featuring the date of Election Day
on all items.
VYV's Co-Chairs during the 2006 Election were Auren Kaplan and Jonathon Kendall. Members of the executive board included Hannah Fishman, Aimee Bothwell, Ariste Sallas-Brookwell, and Kristin Purdy. Current Co-Chairs are Jonathon Kendall and Ariste Sallas-Brookwell.