Only 15 percent of 18-20 year olds voted in the 2014 midterm elections. More than 20 million students will be eligible to vote this fall, including 400,000 Jewish students. So Hillel International has created a new Jewish ritual to turn students out to the polls for the 2018 midterm elections this fall — MitzVote.
“Adulting has certain milestones, and voting can be one of the first you experience,” according to the website. “Whether you consider it a mitzvah or a milestone, the act of voting is something to celebrate, just like a bat or bar mitzvah. Becoming bar mitzvah has been around longer than American democracy, but the ideas are similar: be informed, take a stand, make valuable choices that impact your community. And both deserve a party!
“So, wanna party to the polls? Be an adult – make the commitment to vote, set a date, read up on the candidates, and do the dang thing”!
University of Michigan Hillel is one of the participating campuses. MitzVote adviser is Rebecca Grbinich, email@example.com, and MitzVote Ambassadors are Ali Rosenblatt and Annabel Weinbach.
In a separate effort, the Big Ten has issued a voting challenge to its universities. “In an effort to build student enthusiasm in the political process and to ensure that the issues that impact youth are heard, the 14 universities of the Big Ten conference have created a competition.”
This non-partisan effort is attempting to encourage competition between the 14 schools. After the 2018 midterm election, trophies will be giving to two universities: one for having the highest eligible voter turnout and the other for being most improved.