Case Studies from the Andrew Goodman Network
An on-campus polling place is a powerful symbol of an institutional commitment to student voting by campus and local election officials, as well as a proven mechanism that increases students’ access to the ballot box. Central on-campus polling places provide students, a population with unique needs, key accessibility, while also benefiting the disabled community and the wider college community. Research demonstrates that greater access to on-campus polling locations correlates with increased student voter turnout.
Through our Andrew Goodman Vote Everywhere program, The Andrew Goodman Foundation (AGF) has extensive experience and expertise in coaching and assisting students in organizing and advocating to bring polling places to campus. We launched the national Student Vote Choice campaign and have distilled our learning into one powerful resource, our Toolkit: Securing On-Campus Polling Places, so that students everywhere can work toward increasing accessibility to the ballot box on their campuses. Below, we are sharing stories and case studies from the Andrew Goodman Network that illustrate not only the importance of on-campus polling places, but also how to secure and maintain them.
Arizona State University
Read Arizona State University’s case study here.
Read Bard College’s story here.
East Carolina University
Read East Carolina University’s case study here.
Read Elon University’s story here.
Miami Dade College
Read Miami Dade College’s story here.
North Carolina A&T State University
Read North Carolina A&T State University’s case study here.
Prairie View A&M University
Read Prairie View A&M University’s case study here.
University of Chicago
Read University of Chicago’s case study here.
University of Florida
Read University of Florida’s story here.
University of Michigan
Read University of Michigan’s story here.
University of Mississippi
Read University of Mississippi’s case study here.
University of South Carolina-Upstate
Read University of South Carolina-Upstate’s case study here.
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Read University of Wisconsin-Madison’s case study here.
County & State Level
In 2017, Megan Newsome, an Andrew Goodman Ambassador at the University of Florida, identified an issue: The Secretary of State’s wrongful interpretation of a statute meant that the placement of early voting sites on campuses across Florida was prohibited. She wrote an op-ed in The Gainesville Sun, arguing why on-campus early voting sites were so desperately needed, that catalyzed a successful campaign and litigation for on-campus early voting sites — on her campus and beyond — ahead of the 2018 Midterm Elections. This report evaluates the impact of the 12 on-campus early voting sites across Florida, and this toolkit offers guidance on how to write an op-ed, such as one like Megan’s.
Fulton County, Georgia
In August of 2022, the Fulton County Board of Elections proposed an elimination of the early on-campus voting polling places serving nearly 90,000 students, approximately 30% of which are Black students, across seven colleges and universities. The potentially affected campuses included Georgia State University, a Predominantly Black Institution, and four Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs): Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Morris Brown College, and Spelman College. In response, The Andrew Goodman Foundation called on the Fulton County Board of Elections to maintain the on-campus early voting locations. With a coalition of partners, AGF successfully protected the on-campus early voting locations from elimination.
In addition to the grassroots efforts of Andrew Goodman Ambassadors to secure on-campus polling locations via organizing and advocacy, The Andrew Goodman Foundation has also brought an on-campus polling station to Bard College via successful student-led litigation. Plus, 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 the polling place to Bard’s campus, coupled by the advocacy efforts of a statewide coalition. 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.
The Andrew Goodman Foundation developed the case studies from the Andrew Goodman Network with the support of Yael Bromberg, Esq., a constitutional rights attorney and Of Counsel at AGF, and Rev. Prof. Cornell William Brooks and The Harvard Kennedy School’s William Trotter Collaborative for Social Justice.