Jacob Rains ‘21 (Political Science major, History minor) and Tait Ferguson ‘23 (Political Science major, Religion and Environmental Studies minor) are passionate about making sure that every Denison student can practice their civic duty and make their voice heard. As leaders of the non-partisan student organization DU Votes, they and their DU Votes ambassadors canvas the campus to register voters and get out the vote. Their team of 80-or-so student volunteers brings the mission into their personal spheres of influence.
“Our goal is that every student on campus has a relationship with someone who can help them register to vote, request their absentee ballot, and make sure their vote makes it to the ballot box,” says Ferguson. “This could be a close friend, classmate, Greek brother/sister, teammate, fellow club member, faculty, or a staff member.”
DU Votes holds a series of events including faculty panels, student-run discussions on issues and candidates, educational publicity campaigns, and other collaborations.
“We want to make sure that students not only vote, but that they feel as if they can make an educated decision on (or before) election day,” he adds. “As a non-partisan organization, we want to encourage varying perspectives on a range of issues and candidates.”
DU Votes also partners with off-campus non-partisan organizations including the Campus Election Engagement Project (CEEP), Vote For Astra, and the ALL-IN Challenge. Their hard work has paid off. In fact the pair received a $1,000 grant from Astra for their work, and Washington Monthly added Denison to the 2020 Best Colleges for Student Voting Honor Roll.