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Obama-backed group behind effort to use tax dollars to pay college students to register peers

Most college students vote overwhelming Democrat, so it’s no surprise Democrats target college campuses with get-out-the-vote campaigns.

But this year they took it one step further when the Biden administration in February announced it will siphon tax dollars to pay college students to register their peers.

The Federal Work-Study Program allows college students to earn money to help pay for their education. Traditionally such jobs included in campus libraries, offices, helping professors, or other innocuous public interest nonprofits.

But decreed by memo Feb. 26, Biden’s Education Department announced Federal Work-Study Funds may now be used for voter registration efforts: “This work can include supporting broad-based get-out-the-vote activities, voter registration, providing voter assistance at a polling place or through a voter hotline, or serving as a poll worker.”

In recent weeks, the scheme drew steep criticism from Congressional Republicans and an April 2 memo from 16 Republican Attorney generals to the Education Department, arguing the guidance breaks the law.

“Voter-registration efforts can serve overtly political functions even when they seem facially nonpartisan, as turning out the right voters is often a matter of knowing where to boost ‘broad-based’ turnout,” the memo states.

As the battle over the new guidance unfolds, details have emerged on who wanted this proviso carved out. No shocker: top Democrats. But not just any run-of-the-mill ones. The Daily Signal recently exclusively reported on how employees of a program of Civic Nation lobbied for the change before it was even announced.

“Documents reveal an organization backed by Obama White House alumni such as Valerie Jarrett and bankrolled by liberal dark money donors advocated using tax dollars to pay college students to get out the vote in the 2024 election, doing so before the Biden administration announced the same policy,” the Signal reported, citing results from a public records request.

“Civic Nation’s board includes Jarrett, former senior adviser to President Barack Obama; Tina Tchen, former chief of staff to first lady Michelle Obama; and Cecilia Muñoz, former director of the Obama White House’s Domestic Policy Council,” the Signal reported. The Civic Nation program is called the “ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge.”

Long story short: one of the ALL IN employees was already in talks with Wisconsin officials about setting up get-out-the-vote jobs through the Federal Work-Study Program in January — one month before the new policy was announced.

Civic Nation and its ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge has already been getting away with flouting the law for years, as The College Fix recently reported.

In order for universities to be considered “ALL IN,” they must sign over their students’ private FERPA data to a third-party voting data company to participate in what’s called the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement, launched during the Obama administration.

Until at least 2018, that voter data company getting all students’ private information exclusively and proudly served only Democrats.

It’s clear Democrats see college campuses as ripe for the plucking, especially heading into the November presidential election. Whether they will get away with illegally using tax dollars to galvanize the Democratic-heavy youth vote remains to be seen.

MORE: ‘Politically weaponized’: Republicans criticize federally funded plan to have students register voters

IMAGE: Civic Nation screenshot

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About the Author
Fix Editor
Jennifer Kabbany is editor-in-chief of The College Fix.