The 2018 Vote Everywhere Wrap Up
2018 was the year of a critical election, record-breaking youth voter turnout, and tremendous strides from the Vote Everywhere (VE) Ambassadors to foster an inclusive democracy. Every month, efforts across the VE network made a difference for young voters. The program worked tirelessly to promote the idea that “Midterms Matter,” as prefaced by its Fall 2018 branded stickers.
Here’s a rundown of the highlights from January-December:
- David Goodman, President of The Andrew Goodman Foundation, published an Op-Ed in The Hill discussing the death of Edgar Ray Killen on January 11th, 2018. Killen, a member of Ku Klux Klan, was one of the men responsible for the murder of Andrew Goodman, James Chaney, and Michael Schwerner. Goodman expressed the need to deliver on the promise that all people are created equal in our democracy, through the ballot box, and through our actions.
- We proudly launched The Andrew Goodman Foundation Puffin Democracy Fellows program, a multi-year fellowship to expand political equity through policy change and grassroots organizing. The inaugural recipients of the fellowship included Usjid Hameed (Columbus, OH); Maydee Martinez (Miami, FL); Megan Newsome (Gainesville, FL); Valencia Richardson (Washington, D.C.); and Dana Sweeney (Montgomery, AL). All five Puffin Democracy Fellows would go on to publish Op-Eds at local publications discussing their projects and the current state of voting rights, reflecting on topics such as the need for multilingual poll workers, how to reimagine the ways we politically engage young Southern voters, and what Florida should learn Alabama about felon voting rights restoration.
- Vote Everywhere welcomed six new campus partners. The new additions included: Georgetown University, Grand View University, Midway University, Rutgers University, University of Central Arkansas, and the University of Michigan.
- We participated in the 12th Annual Moral March in Raleigh, North Carolina. The theme of this year’s march was “Taking the Resistance to the Ballot Box.”
- Six Vote Everywhere Ambassadors were chosen as Newman Civic Fellows. The six fellows included Daniela Alvarez of Miami Dade College, Danielle Bates of Simpson College, Sophie Bertrand of Towson University, Fiona Buchanan of West Carolina University, Leah Christman of SUNY Geneseo, and Haley Creef of East Carolina University.
- The University of San Francisco Vote Everywhere team registered their 1,000th voter. They credited their success to the power of partnerships.
- Senator Cory Booker and Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi joined AGF Puffin Democracy Fellow and Vote Everywhere Alumna, Valencia Richardson and Western Carolina University Vote Everywhere Campus Champion Lane Perry to introduce the Help Students Vote Act. The bill expands on the Higher Education Act, by requiring higher education institutions to email students twice a year with links to voter registration information. The legislation is an incredible step in the right direction of harnessing the power of colleges and universities. Vote Everywhere Alumni Olivia Anderson and Joanna Woodson were also present.
- David Goodman was arrested alongside Bishop William Barber II in Washington, D.C. at the launch of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival.
- We commemorated the 54th anniversary of the Goodman, Chaney, and Schwerner disappearances.
- Maxim Thorne, Managing Director of The Andrew Goodman Foundation, published an Op-Ed in The Hill titled, “Young People are the Ballast for Protecting our Democracy.”
- We joined The League of Women Voters of Florida and six university students as a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the Florida Secretary of State, who barred the use of college and university buildings for early-voting sites in the state.
- We held our 4th annual National Civic Leadership Training Summit, the largest to date, with more than 100 attendees over the span of six days. The summit also featured a keynote speech from world renown activist and writer, Shaun King, and a ceremony for the 2018 recipients of the Hidden Hero awards (Abree Dominguez, Louis Gremillion Jr., Usjid Hameed, Joseph Hill, and Megan Newsome).
- S. District Judge Mark Walker granted a preliminary injunction against Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner’s interpretation of Florida’s early-voting law, marking an early litigation win for voting rights advocates and the Vote Everywhere program.
- The University of Baltimore and University of South Carolina – Upstate became new additions to the Vote Everywhere program
- Florida Secretary of State Kenneth Detzner issued a statement revoking his ban of public colleges and universities serving as early-voting sites. The University of Florida was later approved as an early voting site.
- We launched my.VoteEverywhere, a one-stop-shop for campus voter information online, and the Vote Everywhere Campus Texting Platform to provide student voters with timely information about the 2018 Midterm Election.
- 46 Vote Everywhere teams participated in National Voter Registration Day (NVRD), registering over 4,000 students. This year’s NVRD was the largest to date with more than 800,000 people registered nationwide.
- Michael Blichar, Kutztown University Vote Everywhere Alumnus, announced his candidacy for State Representative in the 187th district in Pennsylvania. He is the first of the Vote Everywhere network to run for office.
- Miami Dade College was approved for two early voting sites, after Vote Everywhere Ambassadors, Rebecca Diaz and Fiorenza Herrera Diaz, advocated for the campus community in front of the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners and Mayor Carlos Gimenez.
- We updated our expansion strategy to include a “Hub Model,” where well-performing campus partners act as hubs for students at other colleges and universities. The model allows our Vote Everywhere Ambassadors to execute larger campaigns on issues like student voting accessibility, voting rights restoration to people who were formerly incarcerated, and issues-based advocacy. It is currently being piloted at Stony Brook University and Cornell University.
- Vote Everywhere campus partner Montclair State University was selected as one of three winners in the New Jersey 2018 Ballot Bowl, where colleges and universities in the state competed to obtain the most voter registrations.
- We witnessed incredible youth voter turnout during the 2018 Midterm Elections. An estimated 31% young people turned out, a 50% increase from 2014. Vote Everywhere campus partner, Binghamton University, saw a 270% increase in turnout while the University of Pennsylvania saw a 247% increase in turnout. In Florida, 60,000 students voted early at on-campus polling sites.
- We’re reflecting on this past year and getting ramped up for 2019—a critical year of preparation for the 2020 Presidential Election.
About the Author
Kevin Hurtado is the Communications and Development Associate at The Andrew Goodman Foundation. He graduated from Ramapo College of New Jersey with a Bachelor’s in International Studies and a minor in Human Rights and Genocide. Previously, Kevin worked as an Executive Assistant and Office Manager at Newark Charter School Fund, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting educational equity in the city of Newark.