When it comes to the crosstown rivalry between USC and UCLA, the Trojans often can claim superiority this time of year, at least when it comes to football. Academically, the schools are neck and neck, with USC outranking the Westwood institution by one place on the latest U.S. News & World Report "Best Colleges" list.
But in one recent endeavor, it was a complete blowout in UCLA's favor. Go Bruins.
The Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder's office challenged the universities to a "friendly voter registration competition" that just ended, according to a statement. UCLA students say they registered 10,109 people; USC logged 411 registrations.
We asked a USC spokesman what gives. He wasn't sure. USC's population is only slighter smaller, with 43,000 total enrollments. But nearly one-fourth (10,571) of those Trojans are foreigners and likely ineligible to vote. UCLA says 43,301 students are enrolled there, with a far smaller number of international scholars (3,736).
Neither school reached its goal of 17,000 registrations by yesterday, the registrar's office said. Participating students used the social media hashtags #TrojansVote and #BruinsVote to sign people up. There were also on-campus registration events.
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"Not only is UCLA now a more politically engaged campus but it has also triumphed over its crosstown rival," said Yara Hejazi, executive director of Vote for Our Future at UCLA. "We look forward to continuing to work with the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/Clerk’s office, as promoting civic engagement is just as important for nonpresidential elections."
“We are proud of everyone's efforts for a worthy cause,” said USC registration organizer Erika Maldonado.
Those on-campus voters — many will hit the polls for their first presidential contest — are part of a boom in registrations. "As of today there are nearly 5.2 million registered voters in Los Angeles County," according to the registrar's office.
“The surge in voter registration is encouraging, and we hope to see every eligible voter making their mark in this election,” said Dean Logan, Los Angeles County Registrar of Voters.