The Andrew Goodman Foundation And Five Partner Organizations Launch National “Student Vote Choice” Campaign To Promote Student Voting Rights Ahead Of 2022 And 2024 Elections
Campaign develops out of a strategic summit hosted by The Andrew Goodman Foundation and the Harvard Kennedy School’s William Monroe Trotter Collaborative for Social Justice
The Andrew Goodman Foundation (AGF) is launching Student Vote Choice, a national campaign to promote student voter accessibility to vote in person or by mail and to ensure that these ballots are counted. The campaign is joined by partner organizations the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Deliver My Vote (DMV), Hillel International, Institute for Democracy & Higher Education (IDHE), and the National Vote At Home Institute (NVAHI).
Student Vote Choice is the result of an April strategic summit, “Towards Freedom: Collective Organizing in the Legacy of Andrew Goodman,” hosted by AGF and the Harvard Kennedy School’s William Monroe Trotter Collaborative for Social Justice. Summit participants—including students from the Andrew Goodman Network, academics, and youth activists from across the country—aimed to create a framework for the national campaign to bring polling places on campuses and make voting more accessible for students. Today, nonprofit leaders from AGF, ADL, DMV, Hillel International, IDHE, and NVAHI are making a joint commitment to student voting accessibility to increase the number of on-campus polling places and accessibility to vote by mail.
Together, AGF, ADL, DMV, Hillel International, IDHE, and NVAHI will bring polling places, as well as educational resources about voting by mail, to campuses ahead of the 2022 and 2024 elections. “We’re taking action now so that young voters understand what their voting options are, make informed choices about what options work best for them, and have greater accessibility to vote in person or by mail this November and ahead of the presidential election. Our Andrew Goodman Ambassadors are seasoned in leading voter education campaigns and bringing polling places to campuses and will pave the way for other campuses within our network and beyond to do the same and to remove other barriers along the way. I am eager to undertake this mission with them and with our strategic partners,” said Charles Imohiosen, President & CEO of The Andrew Goodman Foundation.
AGF has extensive experience in organizing and advocating to bring polling places to campus. Over the Spring 2022 semester, Yael Bromberg, AGF’s Special Counsel and Strategic Advisor to the President & CEO, collaborated with Harvard Kennedy School students in Reverend Cornell Brooks’ class, “Creating Justice in Real Time: Vision, Strategies, and Campaigns,” to study AGF’s case examples and Bromberg’s prior research and litigation ahead of the strategic summit.
In 2019, Bromberg conducted a study of the Andrew Goodman Vote Everywhere program’s then-59 campuses in 24 states and Washington, D.C. and found that campuses with polling stations on Election Day in 2018 correlated with a voting rate increase of 5.3 percentage points, and those with them during both Election Day and the early voting period correlated with an increase of 7.39 percentage points. Bromberg’s research demonstrates that greater access to on-campus polling locations correlates with increased student voter turnout.
In addition to grassroots efforts of Andrew Goodman Ambassadors to organize and advocate for on-campus polling places, AGF has also brought on-campus polling stations to Bard College and to colleges and universities across the state of Florida via successful student-led litigation. In April, AGF celebrated a statewide legislative victory in New York, which was the direct result of lawsuits filed by AGF and Bard College in 2020 and 2021 that brought a polling place to Bard’s campus. Governor Kathy Hochul signed into law new legislation that mandates polling places on college campuses with 300 or more registered students or at a nearby site proposed by the college and that prevents the gerrymandering of college campuses.
“We believe that all voters, regardless of age, should have equal access to in-person polling opportunities, and research of our program shows that that opportunity correlates with increased turnout. We also believe in students’ right to choose how they cast their ballots. That’s why we are not only working toward securing on-campus polling places, but also on an information campaign about vote-by-mail. We know now that 70% of young voters cast their ballots early or by mail in the 2020 Presidential Election. Even so, young voters need more information and clear guidance specifically about vote-by-mail to make sure that these votes are properly counted,” said Imohiosen.
“Free, fair, and accessible elections are the most basic cornerstone of democracy. At a time when our democracy is under threat, ensuring that the voices of young voters are heard and young Americans empowered to participate and be counted could not be more important. The voting rights work of Andrew Goodman and the Foundation that bears his name and carries on his legacy have inspired generations of Americans. ADL is proud to join in this campaign,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of Anti-Defamation League.
“Deliver My Vote is dedicated to increasing voter participation and turnout by making voting easier and more accessible – at home or at the polls. That is why we are excited to partner with The Andrew Goodman Foundation to bring our vote-by-mail resources to eligible voters on college campuses. At Deliver My Vote, we help people confidently take control of their ballot, be informed, and be counted,” said Amanda Pohl, Executive Director of Deliver My Vote.
“Hillel International is honored to work with The Andrew Goodman Foundation to carry on Andrew’s strong legacy of Jewish advocacy in partnership with other communities to strengthen democracy by ensuring voter engagement and access. Hillels have proven to be uniquely situated to serve as on-campus polling locations and to support students to ensure we maximize students’ engagement with elections in particular, and democracy more broadly. Consistent with our value of Tikkun Olam — working to repair what is broken in our world — we are honored to work in partnership with The Andrew Goodman Foundation to support the next generation of leaders with critical civic training and tools to engage in democracy,” said Adam Lehman, President & CEO of Hillel International.
“I have enjoyed supporting The Andrew Goodman Foundation as an Advisory Board Member and am equally looking forward to this collaboration with IDHE. With AGF’s student leaders and our process of data-driven research and evaluation, we will be able not only to make change, but also to demonstrate our collective impact” said Nancy Thomas, Director of the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education and Member of AGF’s Advisory Board.
“The National Vote at Home Institute champions mailed-out ballot access because data shows that when voters automatically receive their ballot by mail it increases voter participation in our elections, especially with younger voters. If the 2022 and 2024 elections are anything like the 2020 Presidential Election, voters will look to vote-by-mail and other accessible options to cast their ballots safely, securely, and flexibly. It’s up to us to ensure that they have the information to do so with confidence,” said Phil Keisling, Founder and Board Chair of the National Vote at Home Institute.
About The Andrew Goodman Foundation
The Andrew Goodman Foundation’s mission is to make young voices and votes a powerful force in democracy by training the next generation of leaders, engaging young voters, and challenging restrictive voter suppression laws. The organization is named after Andrew Goodman, a Freedom Summer volunteer and champion of equality and voting rights who was murdered, alongside James Earl Chaney and Michael Schwerner, by the KKK in 1964 while registering Black Americans to vote in Mississippi. To learn more, visit www.andrewgoodman.org.
About Anti-Defamation League
ADL is the leading anti-hate organization in the world. Founded in 1913, its timeless mission is “to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all.” Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of antisemitism and bias, using innovation and partnerships to drive impact. A global leader in combating antisemitism, countering extremism and battling bigotry wherever and whenever it happens, ADL works to protect democracy and ensure a just and inclusive society for all.
About Deliver My Vote
Deliver My Vote is a non-partisan, non-profit organization with a simple philosophy: vote at home programs increase turnout and participation from more informed voters. We collaborate with grassroots organizations working in key constituencies and communities year-round to provide the tools and resources to empower voters, especially voters of color and young voters, to access their ballot through the vote-by-mail process.
About Hillel International
Hillel International is the world’s largest, most inclusive Jewish campus organization, serving more than 140,000 students at 850 colleges and universities each year. Hillel empowers every Jewish student along their Jewish journey, positively impacting the lives of generations of young Jews and ensuring the Jewish future, now and for years to come.
About the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education
Located at Tufts University’s Tisch College, IDHE is an applied research center and think tank on higher education’s role in U.S. democracy. IDHE is home to NSLVE, the National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement, the nation’s largest study of college and university student voting. IDHE also produced the Campus Boundaries Project, an interactive map of how districts serving large groups of students and students of color were divided in the 2020 election. For more information, visit https://idhe.tufts.edu/, https://idhe.tufts.edu/nslve, and http://www.idhecampusboundaries.org/.
About National Vote At Home Institute
The National Vote at Home Institute is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that aims to increase voters’ access to, use of, and confidence in voting by mail, or “voting at home” – in which voters receive mailed-out paper ballots; return them either by postage-free mail or in-person to a wide range of accessible, convenient, and secure locations; and can track them online, in real-time, to ensure their vote is counted.