Be a Princetonian — get out and vote!
“Voting is part of what it means be a Princetonian. It’s a way to be in the nation’s service and in the service of humanity." — President Christopher L. Eisgruber.
“If you’ve already cast your ballot: congratulations, and thank you for upholding Princeton’s commitment to service. If you’ve not done so: make a specific plan about when and how you will cast your ballot,” Eisgruber said. Speaking directly to students, he added that “if your generation votes in numbers, it will change the world.”
Leading up to the 2020 election, Princeton’s Vote100 campaign has worked for months encouraging undergraduates to vote where they are eligible and to engage civically through advocacy and service work.
Sponsored by the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students (ODUS) and led by over 130 student ambassadors, Vote100 sponsored 11 virtual programs this year, including discussion panels with Princeton faculty and get-out-the-vote events like Tiger Ballot Day that encouraged students to vote by mail. With undergraduates scattered across the country this semester due to the coronavirus pandemic, Vote100 used texts, emails, social media, Zoom and online programming to reach students.
Through the Vote100 initiative:
- 5,331 Princeton undergraduates were individually contacted with voting information by email, text or phone;
- 330 Princeton student organizations were contacted with voter information via email; and
- 2,881 individuals signed-up on TurboVote for voting registration and Election Day reminders since the platform launched in May.
Princeton students also have been working to make the 2020 election possible through their involvement with the Poll Hero Project.
"The Poll Hero Project is an all-volunteer organization with the sole purpose of recruiting more young people to work the polls on Election Day," said Class of 2021 member Ryan Schwieger, a co-founder of the organization and member of the men’s basketball team. "The majority of poll workers are older Americans, who are at a greater risk of COVID-19 complications. We are solving this problem by recruiting young people to become poll workers, ensuring polling stations are open and everybody can exercise their right to vote."
Schwieger and women’s soccer player Ella Gantman, a member of the Class of 2023, were inspired by Princeton staff member Laura Wooten, a Butler College Dining Hall employee who passed away this past year. Wooten was the longest working poll worker in American history. The Princeton student-athletes joined with fellow Princeton students, Kennedy Mattes of the Class of 2023, Eric Periman of the Class of 2022, James Lee of the Class of 2023, and Kai Tsurumaki of the Class of 2023, to help honor Wooten's legacy.
Other examples of the University's many election-related resources include:
- The upcoming virtual conversation "The Day After: Key Election Questions and Where We Are Now" at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 4, on Princeton's YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. The panel will feature Princeton faculty Michael Calderone, Brandice Canes-Wrone, Eddie Glaude Jr., Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Ali Valenzuela and Keith Whittington.
- The panel “Thinking Forward to Election 2020,” which was part of the virtual Forward Fest Oct. 23-24.
- An interview with Class of 2021 member Morgan Smith on the new Admission podcast, "Meet Princeton!" Smith talks about her experience as a Vote100 cohort leader and president of the American Whig-Cliosophic Society.
- The podcast series "Before the Ballot" to educate voters before they cast their ballots on Election Day. Featuring faculty experts from the School of Public and International Affairs, episodes include “The Future of Immigration,” “Reckoning with Race,” “The Power of the Supreme Court” and “How to Lasso Climate Change.”
- The Engineering School’s new podcast, “Cookies: Tech Security and Privacy,” recently featured Professor Andrew Appel on “Bulletproofing the Ballot Box.” Appel discusses how the pandemic has scrambled the situation for the 2020 general election. He also talks about which in-person voting machines are more secure than others, and he discusses the perils of Internet voting.
- In the first edition of “Princeton Talks,” Professor Sam Wang discussed "Fixing Bugs in Democracy Using Math, Law, and Your 2020 Vote." Wang also will be part of the panel discussion "Partisan Politics: The Princeton Gerrymandering Project," on Thursday, Nov. 5 during Engage 2020, Princeton's first innovation and entrepreneurship conference. Wang will be joined by the students and alumni who founded Representable.org, another Princeton innovation aimed at fighting gerrymandering.
- The John H. Pace Jr. ’39 Center for Civic Engagement's election guides and resources. The Pace Center has a guide for students, faculty and staff planning to host conversations and engage in collective learning around the current election, as well as a guide for faculty members with additional information and national partner organization resources and links.