Wondering where and if you can vote in the Presidential election?
IU Libraries wants students to feel confident in casting their ballots. As part of the Big Ten Voting Challenge, Monday through Friday from noon to 5 p.m., through October 5, IU Libraries is staffing virtual Registration Assistance Drop-in Hours for students and staff to ask questions about the voting registration process. Voting experts will also answer questions about out-of-state voting, the mail-in process, locations to vote, and address any other inquiry. After the October 5 voter registration deadline, IU Libraries will then staff Voting Literacy Drop-in Hours online until Election Day, November 3, to offer assistance on finding resources to make informed voting decisions.
The Library Research Guide on 2020 United States Election provides students and researchers with a myriad of links, videos, and resources concerning the election and voting. Do you need to confirm your voter registration or find out a candidate’s positions? Want to see a Congressional districts map of the United States or learn the address of a Senator? This library research guide provides the answers, along with a link to register to vote.
Emily Alford, Government Information Librarian and Head of Government Information, Maps and Microform Services (GIMMS) put the guide together along with Sarah Alexander, Reference and Technical Associate, and Meredith Knoff, Learning Commons Librarian.
The Big Ten Voting Challenge (BTVC) is a contest between the 14 Big Ten Universities such as the University of Michigan and Ohio State. Of course, first prize is the goal of more students voting. According to the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) at Tufts University, student voting increased almost 21% from 2014 to 2018. The Big Ten Universities use NSLVE data to determine winners in two categories: the greatest percentage voter turnout among eligible voters on campus and biggest improvement in voter turnout since 2018.
Alford says, “Our primary focus in 2018 was to increase voter registration and turnout. This time around, while we continue striving for this, we are also placing a large emphasis on enhancing voter confidence – making sure our undergraduates are equipped with the tools they need to make educated choices on their ballots.”
In 2018, Indiana University improved its student voter turnout rate by 302 percent; however, lost to Rutgers in the overall contest. The Big Ten Voting Challenge is orchestrated on the IU Bloomington campus by the College of Arts and Sciences Program Political and Civic Engagement (PACE). With the goals of developing “leadership, communication, effective citizenship, and public decision making” in students, PACE is the logical place to coordinate this nonpartisan challenge for voting. IU Libraries is proud to be an ongoing partner with PACE.
If you have questions concerning voter registration or voting in the upcoming election, please drop-in to the virtual sessions from noon to 5 p.m., contact the IU Libraries reference desk, or make a virtual consultation with a Learning Commons librarian or assistant.