Resource library

Votes & Ballots

Votes & Ballots is a suite of interactive team-wide strategic activities that take the guesswork out of writing action plans for on-campus democratic engagement. It can be used at summits, campus coalition meetings, or any other context where you’d want to get started on an action plan!

Votes & Ballots was created as a fun, interactive activity to gamify the action planning process based on the Strengthening American Democracy Guide. There are three versions of Votes & Ballots:

-Standard Edition: This team-wide strategic game tasks participants with creating a comprehensive action plan while keeping in mind their institution’s voting rates, their resources, and the unique challenges faced by student voters. The Standard Edition is often used at in-person conferences/multi-campus gatherings or among small groups on campus focused upon democratic engagement.

-Digital Edition: The Digital Edition of Votes & Ballots takes the standard activity to a new level, allowing participants to collaborate and create a comprehensive action plan in a virtual environment. This edition includes a virtual board for participants to collaborate in real time (and easily adapt their plans over time!) and an Action Plan Form that can generate a first draft of a written action plan.

-Curricular Edition: Take it to the classroom! The Curricular Edition offers educators a collaborative simulation game that exposes students to campaigns and election research as well as the resource constraints that voter mobilization campaigns face. Designed for classroom use, perhaps as part of a political science curriculum, this game can be played within one class period.

-Expansion Pack: Level up! This resource was built for experienced teams committed to engaging even more students by leveling up their plans for democratic engagement. Use this in tandem with the Standard and Digital Editions for an extra challenge! This will also be included with the materials for the Standard and Digital editions.

How would a campus best use this resource?
Votes & Ballots can be used at summits, campus coalition meetings, or any other context where you’d want to get started on an action plan. Votes & Ballots incorporates and provides guidance around leadership, engagement, assessment, and strategic planning. Campuses can use Votes & Ballots to support their action planning process each year.
Learning outcomes
– Coalition partners will easily align their campus action plan with the Strengthening American Democracy guide and engage the full campus coalition in the action planning process using Votes & Ballots. – Coalition partners will be able to facilitate fun and relevant action planning activities at events with stakeholders from any campus role. – Coalition partners will engage and educate campus and student leaders about the components of an effective and equitable campus action plan. – Nonprofit and local organizers can use Votes & Ballots as a tool to build power by engaging campus partners and tracking their plans over time