• Campus Vote Project

‘The enthusiasm is there’: College students push through obstacles to cast their votes

Boston Globe, Laura Krantz:


“What we are seeing is challenges because of COVID, and then innovations to overcome those challenges,” Thomas said.


Many voting advocates hope young people will make the connection between the historic levels of activism that took place over the summer, following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and other Black people at the hands of police, and the ballot box.

“What we are trying to do... is help [college students] understand that full trajectory. That you can be out protesting, and now you can vote and be heard in that way, and then after the election you can stay engaged,” said Michael Burns, national director of the Campus Vote Project.


At Harvard University, a new program aimed at increasing civic engagement is on hyperdrive in the final days before the election. It began last year with an initiative that gave first-year students an opportunity to vote when they picked up their ID card and dorm key on move-in day.

This year, the program has hired 12 undergraduate fellows to contact every member of the student body individually and make sure they are registered to vote and help with any issues. Out of the approximately 5,200 undergraduates, somewhere between 500 and 750 experienced problems, said Kevin Ballen, a junior who co-chairs the Harvard Votes Challenge.


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