Harvard Votes Challenge

The Harvard Votes Challenge (HVC) is a non-partisan, university-wide effort organized by the IOP and the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard Kennedy School. We are challenging each of Harvard’s 12 degree-granting schools to increase voter registration and participation among eligible students on their respective campuses. 

  • National Voter Registration Day, September 22

  • Voter Education Week, October 5 – 9

  • Vote Early Day, October 24

  • Election Day, November 3

What's the Harvard Votes Challenge? How can I register? When is Election Day? These are all important questions, and we've got answered. We've tried to answer as many of the most common questions we get about HVC, voting, and civic engagement on our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Click here to find answer to the most common questions about HVC.

If you’re a Harvard student voting in Cambridge, click this link to find your voting location: http://www.iop.harvard.edu/get-involved/find-your-polling-place

  • You have questions, we've got answers

    Frequently Asked Questions

    From registration deadlines, to learning how to get invovled, and the difference between primary and general elections -- we have you covered. 

  • Registering is easier than you think

    Register to Vote with TurboVote

    TurboVote makes it easy to get your self registered and make sure you can vote on Election Day

  • Mark your calendar

    Find a Harvard Votes Challenge Event

    Check out our event calendar and don't miss any of the activities we have planned on and off campus

"Your first homework assignment...if you are eligible to vote, we expect you to register, to inform yourself of the candidates and issues, and to cast a ballot."
— President Lawrence S. Bacow

Together, Coalition Leaders and the HVC Team aim to increase voter participation at Harvard by:

Lowering the barriers to voting

through voter education and access efforts. Coalition Leaders will utilize TurboVote, an online registration platform created by Kennedy School alum Seth Flaxman), and will work with school’s respective administrators to integrate voter registration into class registration processes. The IOP has worked with Harvard College to register students during online “Check-In” since 2015.

Energizing voters

through a series of Harvard Votes Action Days. These milestones–like National Voter Registration Day–will serve as markers for student action.

Shifting our campus culture 

through a series of fun and innovative events that will be announced throughout the semester. 


How to get invovled with the Harvard Votes Challenge

Register to vote, commit to vote, education yourself about canddiates and issues, and cast a ballot on Election Day. You can join the HVC and become a member of our team who energizes Harvard students about voting, builds a campus-wide culture of voting and civic engagement, and makes sure that your friends and classmates and roommates get to the polls and make their voices heard.  

For more information about how to join HVC as an undergraduate, contact HVC Co-Chair Teddy Landis at tlandis@college.harvard.edu.

There are ways to get invovled at each of Harvard's degree granting schools including: Harvard College, Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard Business School, Harvard Extension School, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Harvard Graduate School of Design, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard Law School, Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, and Harvard Divinity School.

For more information about how to get invovled in the HVC as a graduate student in your respective school, contact HVC Student Co-Chair of University-Wide Programming, Harvard Kennedy School: Derek Paulhusderekpaulhus@college.harvard.edu 

As a Harvard faculty member, you can promote voting and voter registration in your classroom, support HVC events and activities on campus, and share the TurboVote link and platform with students. Click here to learn all about how faculty get get invovled.

To find out more, contact HVC Coordinator at the Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics: Rob Watson, rob_watson@gse.harvard.edu

Whether you work in a staff role at Harvard (Human rResources, Communications, etc), at a research center, an institute, or any affiliate of Harvard, there are plenty of ways to get invovled in the HVC.

To find out more, contact HVC Coordinator at the Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics: Rob Watson, rob_watson@gse.harvard.edu

HVC and Voting News

It is almost impossible to keep up with all the news going on every day, that's why we're going to curate the top news about the HVC and news about voting and civic engagement right here -- it's your one-stop-stop to stay current with everything going on in voting and voter participation. 

  • Activists Talk Youth Voter Engagement at Harvard IOP

    Youth activists from across the country — including David Hogg, co-founder of March for Our Lives, and Jessica Browning, College Republican National Committee national co-chair  — gathered at the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum Monday evening to discuss youth voter engagement.

  • Can We Get Everyone to Vote? What Would Happen If We Did?

    Can We Get Everyone to Vote? What Would Happen If We Did?, Ash Center for Democratic Governance & Innovation, Center for Public Leadership

  • IOP and Kennedy School Ramp Up Voter Registration

    The Harvard Kennedy School is gearing up for the upcoming midterm elections by introducing a University-wide voting challenge to encourage Harvard affiliates to register to vote before the Nov. 6 elections.

    The Harvard Votes Challenge, centered at the Kennedy School’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation and the Institute of Politics, currently has leaders assigned to nine of Harvard’s schools to help students register to vote and to host several “Harvard Votes Action Days” to actively get out the vote.

  • Harvard Votes Challenge Presents: Activating the Youth Vote

    A conversation with David Hogg, Jessica Dena, Teddy Landis, Johnathan Rangel, and Bria Smith. Moderated by Farah Stockman.