In Fall 2018, ahead of the mid-term elections, the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation and Institute of Politics launched the Harvard Votes Challenge (HVC) to promote student voter registration and turnout across Harvard. The effort was a collaboration between students, administrators, and faculty aiming to build a culture of civic engagement, lower the barriers to voting, and institutionalize voting registration and outreach. Leaders used a combination of creative and traditional organizing tactics, which included the first-ever Harvard-Yale Votes Challenge.
Thanks to the full-community effort of students, faculty, and administrators, Harvard University doubled the number of student voters. The effort was recognized and awarded the Presidential Administrative Innovation Fund to scale civic efforts to every school in the university and broaden its audience to include the entire community of students, staff, and faculty.
We endeavor to build on our success by engaging leaders on every campus to support their own HVC efforts and provide resources to help each eligible voter participate in our democracy.