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Secretary of State Kevin Shelley registers student voters California Secretary of State Kevin Shelley signs up new student voters at Sather Gate as part of a campus voter registration drive. (Steve McConnell photo)

Recall election sparks campus registration drive for more voters

Quick voting facts
Election date: Oct. 7
Registration deadline: Sept. 22

How to register:
In person: Students, faculty and staff can obtain voter registration forms from ASUC/CALPIRG or from the major political parties' campus organizations. Voter registration tables on Sproul Plaza are staffed from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays.

Registration forms also are available from the Office of Public Affairs, 101 Sproul Hall.

Online: Download a voter registration form (PDF format) from the Secretary of State's office, fill it out and mail it to your county Registrar of Voters.

Or fill out a registration form online; the Secretary of State's office will mail you a typed version of the form, which you must sign and mail back to your county election official. (If you choose this option, the Secretary of State's office recommends completing the form by Sept. 12 to allow for back-and-forth mailing time.)

By phone: Request a form from the state at (800) 345-VOTE, and one will be mailed to you. Again, make sure to call early enough to allow for postal delays.

Where to vote:
Because of construction at Units 1 and 2, students from those residence halls will vote in the library at Newman Hall, at the corner of College and Dwight. Unit 3 will have two polling places – both in the central building recreation room.

Cal Caucus: Join other students, faculty and alumni in building ties between UC Berkeley and government leaders

- Next month, Californians get another crack at choosing the state's chief executive, plus a chance to weigh in on the hot topics of spending and race. UC Berkeley leaders are working hard to ensure that the voices of Cal students, faculty and staff will be heard in this historic vote.

With less than three weeks until the voter registration deadline for the Oct. 7 special election, civic organizations and interest groups are out in force on campus signing up potential voters. Tables with registration forms are a daily presence on Sproul Plaza as groups reach out to students, who traditionally are underrepresented among voters.

"Students are really interested in what's happening now," said Sierra Barnes, campus organizer for CALPIRG, which has partnered with ASUC to register as many Berkeley students as possible. Barnes said the groups have registered more than 1,100 voters on campus in less than two weeks. "We're doing this because we don't want students to be disenfranchised," she said.

Secretary of State Kevin Shelley visited the Berkeley campus Thursday (September 4) to lend a hand to the get-out-the-vote drive on Sproul. Shelley also presented a special guest lecture to professor Kerwin Klein's California History class, discussing the unprecedented recall election and the special challenges it has presented him as the state's chief election officer.

Potential voters have until Sept. 22 to register (or to re-register, if you have moved or changed your name). Those who sign up in time can cast ballots in the unique two-part gubernatorial recall vote that first asks if Gov. Gray Davis should be recalled from office, and second, who should succeed him if the recall is approved.

The list of 135 potential successors runs the gamut from respectable to ridiculous. There are, of course, the big-name party politicians grabbing all the headlines. Then there are the "down-ballot" candidates: teachers, students, scads of businesspeople, a used car dealer, a golf pro, a prizefighter and a sumo wrestler, an ex-cop, an ex-meatpacker and an adult film actress. There are doctors and lawyers and an Indian chief. There's even a professional comedian (along with all those inadvertent comics).

In addition to the two-part recall question, there will be two statewide propositions on the ballot. Proposition 53 is a proposed constitutional amendment sponsored by the Legislature that would require a portion of the state's budget to be set aside for infrastructure spending. Proposition 54 is a measure to ban government agencies from collecting racial data. (Read more about Proposition 54)