Tufts University has launched JumboVote 2016 as a multifaceted, university-wide initiative to boost political learning, engagement, and voting in this year’s presidential election—and beyond. Spearheaded by Tisch College with support from the Office of the Provost, there are JumboVote 2016 representatives in every Tufts school and major administrative department, as well as among the student body. The initiative is working to facilitate voter registration, tackle barriers for Tufts students to vote in local communities, increase voter education, and support events and programs that foster political engagement.

The Year in Pictures; Election 2012: Jumbos Motor to Register Voters

Who Is Involved?

JumboVote 2016 is largely student-driven, encompassing all campuses and schools. Current organizations involved include Tufts Democrats, Tufts Republicans, Cooperation and Innovation in Citizenship (CIVIC), PostScript Magazine, Tufts Votes, the Tufts chapter of the ACLU, Tufts Generation Citizen, Tufts Students for NARAL, Alliance Linking Leaders in Education and the Services (ALLIES), and Tufts VOX.

Student groups can apply for financial support to host events and discussions on issues important to them. Engaging students on issues – and supporting conversations on controversial issues – is one way to encourage students to vote.

What We’re Doing

 Voting Guidelines for the November 8, 2016, General Election

  1. How do I register to vote?

Register in any state on TurboVote (see below!), or come to one of our tabling days in Dewick (Monday-Thursday, Noon-1:00 p.m., until October 18). If you register on TurboVote and choose to register by mail, you must make sure to mail your form to your city/county clerk once you’ve received it. Also, if you’re registering in MA on the paper form, or registering your friends, make sure to follow these guidelines. Friends don’t let friends get kicked out of polling locations on election day because they filled out their forms wrong!

  1. How much time do I have? 

The MA registration deadline is October 19, which means either Medford or Somerville must receive your form by then. Check out the other states’ deadlines here.

  1. How do I check my registration status? 

Go here for MA, or here for any other state.

  1. I don’t know whether I should vote in MA, or in my home state which isn’t MA. How do I choose?

To vote at home, you must register in that state, submit an absentee ballot request (usually on paper) to your clerk, then receive your absentee ballot by mail, then send that completed ballot back to your clerk. To vote in MA, you have to fill out one form (or TurboVote) and we will deliver it for you if you hand it off to us, and you’ll be set to go on election day. Both Medford and Somerville will also have early voting during business hours at their respective City Halls starting October 24.

You may also want to consider ballot initiatives for your state — the MA ones are here, and include legalization of marijuana (#4) and increasing the number of charter schools (#2).

  1. Okay, I’m registered here. So where do I actually go on Election Day (Nov 8)?

You can check this map and look for your dorm, or you can go to the Campus Center and get a ride to your polling location. If you go to the wrong one, there will be Tufts students at the four main locations as well (Holy Bible Baptist Church, 405 Alewife Brook Parkway, the Tufts Administration Building, and Gantcher) to direct you to the right place. You can also check this (if you’re on-campus, check this for your address).

  1. Do I need to bring anything to the polls?

Yes, just in case. In MA you may be asked to provide ID—if you’re off campus, a copy of a utility bill in your name or a copy of your lease will suffice. If you’re on campus, any form of printed ID with your name and address would suffice.

  1. I still have questions! Please help me. 

Sure! Message us on Facebook or send us an email at jumbovote@tufts.edu.

TurboVote

JumboVote 2016’s signature feature is a new partnership between Tufts University and TurboVote, a product of Democracy Works, a nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) nonprofit. TurboVote allows members of the Tufts community to register to vote and sign up for text alerts with voting reminders. This online platform is available to all students, faculty, and staff, and it allows students to register in Massachusetts or, if they prefer, in their home state.

Go to Tufts TurboVote

Tufts Voting Map

Did you know there are nine voting precincts in and around Tufts’ Medford/Somerville campus? Our JumboVote 2016 Map helps members of the Tufts community find their precinct. Pins are dorms and Tufts-owned houses; stars and diamonds are polling locations, color-coded by area.

Funding for Student Initiatives

Student groups interested in organizing initiatives centered on voter registration, political education, and electoral engagement can apply for JumboVote funding toward their event or activities. All kinds of student groups, whether political, cultural, activist, or athletic, are welcome to apply.

Read the full application guidelines here, and apply here.

Other Efforts

  • Kickoff meeting – JumboVote 2016 held meetings of interested students from across all three Tufts campuses. We shared more information about the program, recruited students to get involved, and exchanged ideas about how to increase political engagement on each campus.
  • Voter registration drives – Tufts students on the Medford/Somerville campus registered more than 200 students in time to vote in the Massachusetts primaries. Registration drives in the Campus Center, dining halls, and other strategic locations, ahead of the general election.
  • Accurate, timely voting information – Tisch College published relevant voting information ahead of the Massachusetts primaries—including a list where students can check their polling location based on their dorm. Tufts President Anthony P. Monaco shared this information in a University-wide email.
  • Canvassing trips – JumboVote 2016 will support canvassing trips throughout the primary and general election season. Already, Tufts for Bernie, Tufts for Hillary, and Tufts CIVIC took 43 students to New Hampshire for a Get Out The Vote weekend on February 6-7 ahead of the New Hampshire primary.
  • Convention trips – Tisch College is supporting two undergraduate students’ participation in academic programs at the Democratic National Convention or the Republican National Convention.

Tufts Voting Data

Tufts has released the data that will serve as a benchmark for measuring our goal of increasing student political engagement: the voting and registration rates for all enrolled students in the 2012 and 2014 elections. The data comes from the National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement (NSLVE), an initiative of Tisch College’s Institute for Democracy & Higher Education.

See the data and learn more here.

Follow JumboVote Online

Like JumboVote on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for the latest news and information on all our initiatives and the 2016 election.

For more information about JumboVote 2016, please contact Diane Alexander, Tisch College’s JumboVote coordinator or email jumbovote@gmail.com.