Like many students, University of Chicago undergraduate Ime Inyang will be voting for the first time in 2020, a historic election in which young votes may be more important than ever.
“This is the quality of people’s lives on the line,” said Inyang, a first-year. “We need to make sure that we have someone in office who values people’s well-being and doesn’t hurt the needs of one specific group more than others.”
As Election Day nears, the nonpartisan UChiVotes initiative has ramped up its efforts to boost voter turnout on the UChicago campus—mobilizing students like Inyang to make a voting plan, and encouraging the campus community to vote early.
Created by the Institute of Politics in 2018 and led by students, UChiVotes works to combat voter apathy and to help make UChicago one of the top voting campuses in the country. During the midterm elections that same year, 41.5% of eligible UChicago students voted, more than doubling campus turnout during the 2014 midterms.
In the 2016 presidential election, the University saw 50.2% turnout among student voters—a number that UChiVotes has worked to boost this fall amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We can do better,” said UChiVotes co-chair Julianna Rossi, a third-year.