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.
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.
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.
Here are some other efforts we’re supporting:
Kickoff meeting - JumboVote 2016 held a meeting of interested students from across the Medford/Somerville campus on February 29 at Tisch College. We shared more information about the program, recruited students to get involved, and exchanged ideas about how to increase political engagement on campus. Similar meetings are taking place with JumboVote 2016 representatives in the Boston and Grafton campuses.
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.