Voter mobilization demands innovation. Whether to overcome systemic barriers,
disenfranchisement, or a paucity of belief in the importance of one’s vote, organizers have adjusted time and again. 2020 though was the ultimate test. The traditional techniques of college voter organizing – registration tables, bus rides to the polls, door-to-door canvassing – were put on hold. Campuses across the
country either closed or mandated social distancing.
Our two nonpartisan programs, the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge and
Vote for Astra, responded by developing new resources, re-formatting existing
approaches, and engaging with campus stakeholders and partners. In turn, a key
focus of our work became texting. Or, in other words, virtual, relational-organizing strategies. The tools, programs, and events we orchestrated and supported achieved great success, and offered learnings that will hopefully inform future voter engagement in a post-pandemic world. This report details
those techniques, their successes and limitations, and our recommendations on
ways to utilize the strategies beyond 2020.