How to Host an Election Party

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Voter registration applications have long been processed, you’ve made it to the polls and back, and now it’s time to Election Party! You’ve worked hard this election season to register voters and get out the vote—now it’s time to celebrate with the volunteers and new voters that made it happen.

Hosting an election party can be a great way to engage a wide range of students and help them to build positive correlations between elections, democracy and community. Student volunteers who have been active throughout election season will embrace the opportunity to celebrate their efforts, and your election party can cast a wider net to help reach students you’ve yet to engage.

By now, you are likely aware of the different organizations on campus who’ve participated in voter registration and GOTV efforts. Use your Election Party as a way to bring groups together, reach out to other groups about co-hosting opportunities and find out if departments on campus like Student Life would be interested in sponsoring the event. Pick a venue large enough for your anticipated crowd, preferably with multiple TVs to keep an eye on different local and national races.

Keep it non-partisan and celebratory. Be sure to carve out time during the event to thank volunteers across campus.

Offer both social and educational activities to keep people engaged throughout the night. Ideally, your Election Party will be an opportunity for students to meet new people, learn more about engaging in democracy, and to celebrate their efforts.

Activity Ideas:

  • Photo booth with giant props like “I Voted” stickers—tag attendees on social media and use our hashtag, #FirstWeRegisterThenWeVote

  • Unpack the different issues that were on the ballot—what will the impact of a Yes or No vote be on ballot initiatives or amendments. Focus on issues that affect student populations

  • Create a short video or slideshow of students saying why they vote, check out our video as an example

  • Host a raffle with prizes donated from local businesses, give students tickets for things like attending, wearing an “I Voted” sticker, or for hosting their own activity

  • Play bingo or another trivia game with information about voting and the elections

  • Hang up a giant “Why I Voted” poster and have students write their reasons around the poster.

Use our Social Media images to help promote your event and be sure to share your event with us so we can help promote it.

Comment below with your Election Party ideas! We can’t wait to see how they turn out.



First you registered – Now what?

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By Kate Chance

As the midterm election draws closer, you’re likely winding down your voter registration efforts.  While taking down the posters and sending off your completed voter registration forms you’re likely thinking—what now? What else can I do to foster civic engagement on my campus? How can I work to encourage students to get out and vote on Election Day?

Your efforts don’t need to conclude with your state’s voter registration deadline. There’s still work to be done to bring students to the ballot on Election Day. We’re here to help you do just that.

Remind students on your campus to get out and vote! 

Encouraging students to get out and vote begins with reminding them to show up. You can do this by:

  • Placing posters around campus about the election, and including the address of the closest polling place

  • Asking administrators to send out emails and post reminders on social media

  • Asking clubs and student leaders to encourage voter turnout through their social media platforms

  • Asking teachers to remind their students to vote, or offer students extra credit for coming to class with an “I Voted” sticker

Be sure to mail in your voter registration cards so we can send out text reminders to vote on Election Day!

Make sure students are able to get to the polling station

Unfortunately, some students may have a hard time casting their ballot on Election Day, as many college campuses do not have polling stations within walking distance. You can help students overcome this obstacle through a few methods:

  • Ask your college to offer shuttles to and from polling stations

  • Encourage students to use Uber and Lyft codes for free or discounted rides

  • Inform students that they can request an absentee ballot from their home state

  • Organize a march on campus to the polling station, like these students at Bethune-Cookman University

Breaking myths and misconceptions about voting

Often times, students will admit to not voting in elections and will give reasons such as “my vote doesn’t count,” or “midterm elections don’t matter.”

In our last blog we talked about the truth behind many of these myths, which you can view here.

You can combat these myths by sharing them with others, both through conversation and on social media. Use our graphics on social media to combat these misconceptions with your followers!

Hosting events leading up to the election

One way you can emphasize the significance of the midterm election is through hosting events on and off campus. Debates on campus about issues on the ballot

  • Trivia night focusing on the midterm elections

  • Movie night featuring films highlighting civic engagement

  • Guest speakers, elected officials and community leaders to discuss issues that are important to students

  • Encourage attendance at candidate forums off campus

  • Host a lunchtime event and have students take pictures with ‘Why I Vote’ Signs

  • Help students make a voting plan and encourage them to share it on social media

Incentivize voting

  • Ask teachers to give extra credit or allow missed class for those bringing in “I Voted” stickers

  • Look for discounts and free items for those wearing “I Voted” stickers, and bring awareness

Hosting events on election day

Students are far more likely to get out and vote if their friends and peers are, too!

  • Host a voting party, inviting your friends or clubs to vote in groups

  • Host an election watch party, from on campus or one of the many places offering discounts on Election Day to those wearing “I Voted” stickers

We hope that you’ll continue to encourage voter turnout on your campus. Every vote is significant, and being able to encourage even one person to vote can create a rippling effect which can transform our nation.

First you registered, now get out there and vote! 

Five Myths About Voting


By Julia Delacroix, Teaching Tolerance

As we work to help teachers educate students about democracy and the significance of voting, one thing we hear all too often is that young people don’t register and vote. It’s 18-25 year-olds who will have to live with the consequences of the decisions our elected officials make, but they have the lowest voter turnout of any demographic group.

We think there are a few reasons why this is the case. One is that young people often aren’t asked to register, and they don’t know how. We’re working on that. Another reason, though, is that they tend to think voting just isn’t that important. In fact, young people tend to buy into several myths about voting.

Our goal is to set the record straight. We want everyone to feel more empowered to get out and vote and feel confident encouraging friends and family to do the same.

Here are the top 5 myths we frequently hear—and the truths behind them.

Myth #5—My vote doesn’t count.  
Truth—Every vote is counted; every vote matters. You’ve heard it a thousand times before because it’s true. For example... 

In 2017, a perfect tie in one race meant that party control of the House of Delegates in Virginia was decided by drawing a name out of a hat.

In the primaries in 2018, 59 races and ballot initiatives in Ohio were close or settled by only one vote.

In fact, close votes are so common that most states have rules on the books for dealing with one. Your vote could be the difference between an elected official chosen by the people and one chosen by cutting a deck of cards, drawing straws or even rolling dice.

Myth #4—College students have to vote where their parents live. 
Truth—College students have dual residency—they can vote at home or at (or near) school.

When deciding where you want to vote, think of which state has a greater impact on your day-to-day affairs or which policies and politicians on the ballot you would most like to support. You can also consider where your vote would have the greatest impact.  

But no matter where you cast your ballot, you’ll need to register.

And registration dates are fast approaching. The deadline varies, but October 9 is the deadline in many states, so the clock is ticking. The good news is that you still have time, and that many states have online voter registration. (Don’t wait until the last minute, though! Some states allow voters to register until midnight of the last day, while others cut off at 5 or 9 p.m.)

Myth #3—Voter fraud is a big problem in the United States.   
Truth—Absolutely false.

Voter fraud is so rare that a report from the Brennan Center for Justice claims that an American is more likely to be struck and killed by lightning than to commit the kind of voter fraud that I.D. laws are designed to prevent. In fact, one study of over a billion ballots over 14 years found only 31 credible instances of voter fraud.

Myth #2—Presidential elections are the ones that really matter.
Truth—Local politicians and the policies they set have a tremendous impact on your day-to-day life. We elect governors, mayors, prosecutors, judges, state and national representatives and more during midterm elections. Do you care about where your water comes from? How your police are trained? Which crimes are prosecuted? If you go to a public college or university, your state senators and representatives set important policy that can affect course offerings and tuition costs. If you have student loans, your federal senators and representatives help set terms and conditions.

This year’s election will affect your life just as much as the presidential races in 2016 & 2020, but—since fewer people vote in midterms—your vote will actually make more of a difference this November.


Myth #1—The U.S. Constitution guarantees every citizen the right to vote.                                                                                                                      Truth—States are in charge of voting laws, and while amendments to the Constitution tell states what they cannot do (deny the vote based on race, gender or age, for example), nothing in the Constitution tells the states what they must do (make sure all citizens can vote). In many states, for example, people aren’t allowed to participate in elections if they’ve been convicted of a felony or if they don’t have a state-issued I.D.

No matter where you live, you can support changes that make voting easier and more accessible for everyone in your state. Wish your state had same-day voter registration? Wish it were easier to register online? What about restoring voting rights to people convicted of felonies? (This midterm election Florida will vote on just this issue, so Floridians, especially, make sure you do your research and cast your vote!) The good news is that you have a say in all of these policies. But if you want your voice heard, you’ll have to vote.

Voting is an essential part of our democracy, and we can’t allow myths and misconceptions to shut us up—or shut us out of the decisions that shape our nation. Check your registration today, make a plan to vote in November, and take a friend—or twenty—with you to the polls.

And when you hear someone spreading a myth about voting, speak up! Now you have the truth, it’s up to you to share it.

Politics is Citizenship​

I grew up hearing the phrase: “When it comes to politics and religion, we don’t argue about it”, and for a long time in my life, I believed that politics was something that wasn’t supposed to be argued or questioned. Things were the way they were and that was how things worked.

My first memories about politics are seeing the candidates on television in Brazil.  I would listen to them talk for 1 minute and laugh at the fact that the guy that sold popcorn in front of my school was now running for an office in the Congress. Politics for me was suddenly seeing people riding the public system, walking in my neighborhood streets, or going to public hospital, only to never see them again. Well, not never. I would see them again, 4 years later. I had the opportunity to travel a lot, I’ve been to different countries and what I most like to observe is how “things worked” in each of those countries.

But my real interest in politics came with my love for Venezuela. I confess, when I was little I was a huge fan of Che Guevara, socialism and the left party; but in my defense my family is what we call Esquerdista (or left-wing, in English). Venezuela was our family vacation destination, I love the fact that we could go there and buy gas with pennies. My last trip there, I remember seeing kids working on the streets to make ends meet and signs on the supermarket saying that buying more than five personal hygiene products wasn’t allowed. Things were starting to get bad. I realized after that trip how important politics is.

Brazil, at that time was run by a socialist party. Like in Venezuela, the country was heading toward a destructive path and we as citizens were complete unaware of it. You may or may not know what have happened to Venezuela and the situation they are currently in. It takes struggles to create awakening. Different from Brazil, voting is not mandatary. The country isn’t facing economic problems and even though you are a low-income citizen, you still have a lot. However, like Brazil, people think that politics has nothing to do with them. “They don’t do things for the young”, “I am illegal, so I don’t vote”, “I don’t understand”, “It is boring”.

I learned that politics is the change that I want to see and the attitudes that I am willing to have. Politics is a way for us, as citizens, to reinvent or create the way that things work. When we have power, we make the changes, we are in control. The only thing that we need to do is vote. We need to change from a culture of letting other decide what impacts our future.


Leanne Souza

SPLC on Campus@AUM - Vice President

A Reflection on Constitution Day, September 17, 2018

By Bryan Fair

As colleges throughout the country prepare to mark the 231st anniversary of The Constitution of the United States, I am honored to share my own reflections on this extraordinary moment. I do so, first, by recalling the majestic language of the Constitution’s Preamble. Second, I recall the words of Chief Justice John Marshall that, “we must never forget that it is a Constitution we are expounding.” Third, I remember the trenchant critique of Associate Justice Thurgood Marshall who, on the occasion of the Constitution’s bicentennial, reminded the nation that the Constitution was defective from the start requiring numerous amendments and a civil war to overcome some of its most salient defects. Finally, I lament the expanding constitutional wedge among the people of the United States and the failure of statesmanship among the nation’s representatives.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, Establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

With those fifty-two words, the Convention delegates stated the goals of the new national charter, intending to improve vastly on the Union framed under the Articles of Confederation. The Preamble’s pledges: to form a more perfect union, to establish justice, to insure domestic tranquility, to provide for the common defence, to promote the general welfare, and to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, presented a majestic American Creed, expanding on the founding words of The Declaration of Independence that all persons in the new nation are created equal and all are entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

For most Americans, the nation has fallen far short of this credo. Instead, myriad American castes have emerged, notwithstanding bold constitutional promises. Was our constitutional creed a lie? Consider the condition of indigenous Americans. Consider the lives of African Americans. Consider the ongoing subjection of women. Consider the apartheid of the closet and the demonization of our LGBTQI family. Consider religious oppression and the vilification of Muslims. Consider the nativist criminalization of new brown and black immigrants. Consider the public exposition of white supremacy and nationalism. Consider the strategic attacks on our democracy and modern devices to deny or dilute minority voting strength. And consider the continuing denial of equal educational opportunity throughout pre-K thru 12 and university education. In these and other areas, we have dishonored the Constitution and the people.

Chief Justice John Marshall, representing the Federalists, expounded a generative federal power for the national legislature to address all national concerns and for federal courts to review legislative and executive acts in light of the Constitution’s limits. But, it is clear that Congress has never effectively addressed American castes by constitutional amendment or statute. Likewise, Marshall and his fellow justices rarely ruled in favor of the powerless and most vulnerable Americans. Even the most potentially transformative Court decisions, trumpeting the American Creed, did not prevent the instantiation of American castes.

A few in Congress and on the Court fought against various forms of caste. Charles Sumner explained that the principal aim of the proponents of the Fourteenth Amendment was to eliminate black caste.  Charles Hamilton Houston and Thurgood Marshall took segregation to trial. David Souter opposed religious tyranny and oppression. Ruth Bader Ginsburg almost persuaded an all male Court to subject gender discrimination to the most exacting scrutiny. Anthony Kennedy laid bare state animus against LGBTQI persons. Justice Thurgood Marshall knew from three decades of fighting caste that the American Constitution was defective from the start, requiring a Civil War and landmark constitutional amendments to reconstitute the Union. Mr. Civil Rights knew firsthand the status of the outsider and understood American caste like few of his colleagues, most of whom never experienced any form of it.

Despite the Great War and Reconstruction, the lingering question is whether a nation conceived in caste for so many Americans can ever be redeemed? Is there a way forward without white supremacy, without male hegemony, without hetero-normativity, without religious intolerance, without educational inequality, and without political subjugation?

As you celebrate the Constitution, I hope you will think deeply about what you are celebrating. I hope you will examine critically whether the Constitution you celebrate permits American caste. I hope you will try to stand in the shoes of those who live American caste each day and ask what you will do about it. I hope you will use your voice and your talent to speak against all forms of American caste.

The statesmen who formed our nation pledged to establish justice. Their successors promised equal protection of the law.  Thus far, our current representatives have failed to live up to those promises. We have not achieved a more perfect Union. We have not established justice. We have not secured the blessings of liberty for all. Instead, hate and extremism are the principal currency of the American President. The Attorney General defends separating children and parents at our borders. White nationalists are emboldened to assert hereditary entitlement. National parties remain afraid of too much democracy and seek to crack or pack districts to party advantage. And a divided Court seems poised to destroy unions, invalidate the remaining protections of voting rights, and to interpret the Constitution to do almost nothing to dismantle current caste. Thus, there is much work to be done.

I hope that many of you who are in college today will take up the challenge to fight hate and seek justice for all. Only then will we have a Constitution that is worth expounding!

Interested in fighting hate and seeking justice in your own campus community? Contact to find out how we can help. Get free resources to engage your campus in a voter registration drive.  Sign up here:

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Join the Electorate, Demand to be Heard

By Janelle Cronk

We may think that because we are a part of the population, our needs should be addressed by our representatives. But, if we aren’t registered to vote, then we aren’t a part of the electorate. Politicians and elected officials represent and appeal to those in the electorate through their campaign promises and policies, but this doesn’t always reflect the values of the entire population.

Think about the first steps of running a city council campaign. Many politicians begin by studying the voting history of their district. The constituents of that district who didn’t participate in previous elections aren’t reflected in this assessment. The candidate doesn’t consider these opinions because they don’t impact the likelihood of winning the election. Should democracy work this way? No. Does it? Often.

When planning a campaign, politicians may consider the views of the population, but their focus is on the electorate. The electorate, a body of people entitled to vote, includes only those in a community who are registered to vote. By influencing who is in the electorate, politicians and political parties can influence the likelihood of their success. Thus, by restricting who is eligible to vote, they can erase the needs of entire communities. Voting restrictions unequivocally disadvantage black, brown, and minority voters.  

In December 2017 the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Phillip Alston, visited the USA. Alston addressed issues of voter disenfranchisement, asserting that the “net result is that people living in poverty, minorities, and other disfavored groups are being systematically deprived of their voting rights.”

As Kat Calvin, the Founder of Spread the Vote, put it, “the people whose votes are suppressed are the people whose everything are (sic) suppressed. Its poor and brown people, elderly people, young people, etc.” Think about this for a minute. The people who are often kept out of the electorate are the same people whose rights are consistently abused. How are they expected to protect their basic human rights when their right to vote is withheld from them? Being a part of the population is not enough to demand one’s rights—you must also be a part of the electorate.

Alston claimed that the USA is experiencing an “undermining of democracy” such as in 2016 when studies found that, “only about 64% of the U.S. voting-age population (and 70% of voting-age citizens) was registered, compared with 91% in Canada (2015) and the UK (2016), 96% in Sweden (2014), and nearly 99% in Japan (2014),” (Alston)

Voter suppression is carried out in many ways including; voter purges, claims of voter fraud, barriers to registering to vote and felony disenfranchisement. For example, nearly 6.1 million Americans are barred from voting due to a felony conviction, “a rule which predominantly affects Black citizens since they are the ones whose conduct is often specifically targeted for criminalization,” (Alston).

Another form of suppressing representation is at play in the debate surrounding the proposed citizenship question on the 2020 Census. The Campaign Legal Center argues it “would significantly lower and skew response rates, leading to an undercount of minority communities,” which impacts the apportion of seats in Congress.  

While there are clear efforts at controlling and suppressing the electorate and representation, there are also attempts at expanding the electorate and ensuring proper representation. These include attempts at registering young voters, appeals for automatic voter registration, and the likes of recently launched celebrity campaigns such as The Last Weekend and When We All Vote.

So, if people want to prevent you from registering to vote so badly. . . do you still think your vote doesn’t matter?

We sincerely hope not. #FirstWeRegisterThenWeVote.


How to Be a Voter with ACLU of Alabama and SPLC on Campus @Auburn


Being a voter is more than just bubbling a ballot one day a year. It is a commitment to our communities and our democracy to elect individuals committed to the same principles we hold dear, and to hold those individuals accountable through our actions and our votes. That's why it's so important to be an informed voter. 

Join us on September 11 so you can be ready for Election Day. Find out what you need to know to be an informed voter when you go to the polls on November 6.

-Register to vote with SPLC on Campus. Individuals can fill out new registration forms or update their existing registration. 
-Know your rights for voting! We'll discuss voter ID requirements, deadlines, inactive status, provisional ballots, and more. 
-Learn about the candidates who are on the ballot, what positions they're running for, and how to research them.
-Understand the ballot initiatives you'll be voting on and what they mean. 
-Get tips on how you can get involved in engaging and educating the voters in your community. 

This event is free and open to the public. Non-students welcome.

Facebook Page for the event. 


Remembering Emmett Till


By Sydnei Jarman

On August 28, 1955, Emmett Louis Till was abducted in the middle of the night. He was tortured, shot to death and dumped in a river. Three days later, his mutilated corpse was discovered by two young men fishing. Months earlier, Rev. George Lee (52) and Lamar Smith (63) had been killed because of their work with voter registration in Mississippi. Till was only 14- a child. His death served as a catalyst; it was the spark that ignited a fire in young adults and teens across the country. For the first time, people outside of the South saw that the violence of white supremacy had no age limit.

The news of Emmett Till’s brutal murder spread quickly through the global press, putting the pressure on Mississippi. Additionally, the United States was amid the Cold War. The US had to prove that democracy was alive and thriving domestically. In a front for the rest of the world, prosecutors in Mississippi held a trial for Till’s murderers. It lasted for five days and ended in an acquittal for both men. News outlets, at home and abroad, published articles chastising the verdict and exposing the deep seeded hatred that festered among Southern states. All over the country, Blacks were outraged. The only way to fight racism and extremism was to take the fight to the people. As a direct result, voter registration drives were held to assist millions of Black voters who were disenfranchised from Chicago to Tallahassee.

Six decades have passed since the murder of Emmett Till rocked our nation. Once again, we find ourselves under the global microscope. All eyes are on the United States as the Trump administration continues to raise questions about the legitimacy of democracy. Following the example put before us, this generation is ready to rise to the occasion. Voting has become a necessity of change and change is the backbone of progress. September 25th is National Voter Registration Day. We are all responsible for the progress of our country, don’t forget to get out and vote!

We aren’t all called to be martyrs, but we are all called to vote.

By Kate Chance

On this day, 53 years ago, Jonathan Daniels died while fighting for civil rights.  Not for himself, but for others. 

Jon Daniels was a white, 26-year-old man pursuing a career as an Episcopalian priest. He worked to integrate Episcopal churches, and heeded Dr. King’s call to join the march from Selma to Montgomery. His passion for equality led to his arrest during a voting rights march in Fort Deposit, Alabama. Soon after his release from jail, Daniels, along with a Catholic priest and two black teenagers went to a store to buy soda and were confronted by a part-time deputy sheriff.  The man pointed a shotgun directly at sixteen year-old Ruby Sales, Daniels pushed Ruby to the ground to protect her.  Jonathan Daniels was shot and killed instantly.

As a fellow 26-year-old, white, Episcopalian with a graduate degree in religious studies, the legacy of Jon Daniels deeply resonates with me. Much like Jon, social justice is a key component of my life and faith and has guided my career path, which led me to work with the Southern Poverty Law Center.

No matter what we’re passionate about, we have the same opportunities to change our world for the better as Jon Daniels strived to do 53 years ago.

Today, many young people are passionate about social justice. We share our views on social media, attend rallies, volunteer, but one thing we fail to do time and time again is to voice our opinions through the most democratic method of all—voting.

Even though voting is the clearest and most direct way to influence our democracy, young voters, as a group, show little interest in elections—especially midterm elections. Pew Research Center reports that in the 2014 midterms only 22% of eligible millennials voted, which was a record-low year for turnout. These numbers are inconsistent with the millions of young Americans who are passionate about creating change in our nation.

In honor of the life and legacy of Jon Daniels, vote every opportunity you get. It’s not enough to only vote in presidential elections. We must help shape politics as a whole to create a nation which reflects our vision of tomorrow, both locally and nationally.

Every election is dependent on your participation. Every judge, legislator, senator, congressman, mayor, school board member or city official in power has a tremendous impact on our communities and thus our nation. These elected officials are the ones who will shape and influence the future of our community, and we must have a say in the matter. We must vote accordingly.

Young Voters Are the Oxygen That Keeps Democracy Alive

By Isabella Shaffer-Jaffery

Young people’s voices can change the tide of an election. Exuberant, idealistic and confident, college-age students can be credited for radicalizing the views of establishment voters several times over the past century. College students’ reaction to the Vietnam War is an obvious example, but more recently, young people were moved to get out and vote predominantly for Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential primaries. Senator Sanders promised to do many things that appealed to his millennial voters; debt-free college and a $15 minimum wage were integral issues to his platform. Although a very visible pro-Bernie movement swept the nation, Sanders failed to clinch the Democratic nomination.

This may be in part due to the fact that fewer than fifty percent of college students voted in the 2016 presidential election, and likely even fewer voted in the primaries. Despite having a candidate that specifically appealed to young people and 2016 being a dramatic and well-publicized election, student voter turnout was low overall for the country and fairly dismal at certain colleges. While this data easily fits with the picture of millennials as lazy and entitled, the full story is much more complicated.

Many college students care deeply about the issues at stake in local, state and federal elections, but are not able to vote in the state in which they attend college. This can be due to complicated voter ID requirements, hostile local communities, or changes to the time period in which registration and voting is available. Many students assume that they can show a student ID to vote in their school’s state, but often an in-state driver’s license or utility bill is necessary to show proof of residency, and the likelihood that students have either is slim.

Another problem is that the communities or states that these schools are in can have a very different social makeup from those who attend the school. Local residents feel that the students are not really connected to the community, and vote without reaping the long-term consequences relating to the students. New Hampshire and Maine are among the states who are actively working to suppress students’ votes through restrictive rules about residency that often require the registration of vehicles or procurement of residence confirmation from their schools.

Although states are working against the students who reside there, college administrations are sticking up for their students, with registration drives, incentives designed just for college students, and perhaps most effectively, a competition between schools. The Big Ten Voting Challenge is a competition between universities in the Big Ten conference to see which school can register the most students to vote and then actually get those students out to the polls. With a majority of the schools in the Big Ten conference having thirty thousand students or more, this tactic is sure to reach a large amount of potential youth voters and could influence elections significantly.

I know from personal experience how hard these schools are working to increase youth engagement in elections. I attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and upon receiving my student identification card, I was encouraged to sign up for a voter ID card that would allow me to vote in Wisconsin. I get emails and informational brochures from the university about where and when to vote. However, rarely does my school reiterate why voting is so important. Even if a college student is politically invested and wishes to vote, the local regulations may cause such delays that it seems easier to not vote at all. This is where other students come in.

Seeing fellow students manning the polls, starting voter registration drives or working to change legislation that limits youth voting is encouraging and invigorating. Knowing that people my own age care about issues that affect all of us, no matter our age, has inspired me in the past to volunteer for candidates I believe in and convince other students to register to vote. Political engagement is becoming cool among millennials, and if students and schools work together to give young people the resources they need to enact the change they want, a new generation of activists will be born sooner than ever.


(2018). Campus Vote Project. Retrieved from

(2017). Big Ten Voting Challenge. Retrieved from

Campbell, E. (2016, August 25). Voting Hurdles Often Keep Students Away from the Ballot Box. NBC News. Retrieved from

Stockman, F. (2018, March 3). How College Campuses Are Trying to Tap Students’ Voting Power. New York Times. Retrieved from