Organizer FAQs

What is the Harvard Votes Challenge?

The Harvard Votes Challenge is a nonpartisan initiative that strives to build a civic culture at Harvard University by increasing voter registration and participation among students, staff, and faculty. 

Who can register to vote? 

Only United States citizens (individuals born in the U.S. or naturalized). 

What platform do we use to register voters? 

We use TurboVote, which serves as a voting concierge service, connecting users directly to secretary of states’ websites where online voter registration is allowed or TurboVote will send users all required registration forms and prepaid envelope to their homes to fill out and mail to their state. Find out more.

When do I need to register or re-register to vote? 

Whenever you have moved address you should register or update your registration. Deadlines for voter registration in advance of elections vary by state. You can find specific state deadlines here. 

Where should I register to vote?

Register in the state that you consider your permanent address/residence.

I am registered to vote in my home state and will be in Massachusetts for the election, what should I do?

If you will not be able to vote in-person, you must request an absentee ballot from the secretary of state. You can request an absentee ballot here. 

Who can sign up for TurboVote?

All eligible voters can sign up through TurboVote. People already registered to vote can sign up for voting reminders within TurboVote. Signing up for alerts in no way effects current registration.  

Can students who aren’t eligible to vote in the U.S. participate in the Harvard Votes Challenge? 

Harvard community members who are not eligbile to vote can sign up for voting reminders for elections happening near them.  Visit TurboVote and select the “I can’t vote” option and choose to receive alerts about upcoming elections.  

What happens if a state doesn’t have online voter registration? 

TurboVote will send any registration paperwork and a prepaid envelope to those that sign up through the platform. 

Is user data safe in TurboVote? 

TurboVote only ever uses data to provide students with voting information and services. TurboVote encrypts the connection to their site and takes precautionary measures to restrict site access to only those partners and services they need to make TurboVote run. TurboVote does not deliberately collect or store ID numbers. Find out more

What is TurboVote’s relationship to Harvard University? 

Harvard Kennedy School alumni created TurboVote and the platform works primarily with colleges, universities, and civic organizations to engage their students and members in elections. TurboVote is a 501(c)(3), and they are committed to non-partisanship, they do not partner with candidates, political campaigns, or PAC (527) organizations.