Many things are possible, but knowing who was going to win the 2020 Presidential Election was definitely not one of those things. No one could have accurately predicted whether Joe Biden or Donald Trump was going to be the next president of the United States of America solely based on evidence before all of the votes were tallied. There was no notion as to which of the 50 states were going to be Democrat or Republican. States that were red in 2016 could have easily changed to blue in 2020. This was implemented as the polls began to close. It was important that every person exercised their right to vote. In this election especially, every vote mattered.
Abe Baker-Butler, a Blind Brook Alumni and Yale University student, realized how crucial one’s vote could be. With Abe’s judgement and knowledge on the election and how important one’s vote could be, FroshVote was born. Targeting freshman and first-time voters attending college in swing states, it was FroshVote’s goal to get these students registered in a state where their vote would be most impactful.
FroshVote adopted the idea of relational organizing (a volunteer, or in this case, an ambassador reaching out to someone they already know to get them to vote instead of a stranger) because it has been proven to be more effective and influential than phone banking. Ambassadors at FroshVote would then reach out to those who are attending college in or are from different swing states. The swing states from the 2020 election were Georgia, Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Texas, North Carolina, Nebraska, Florida, and Ohio. Ambassadors contacted their family, friends and acquaintances that they knew of who were in any of these 10 states. By keeping in touch, the ambassadors did all that they could to help these people and make sure they were registered to vote and had a confirmed voting plan which was either in-person or by an absentee ballot. An easy misconception one may have is that FroshVote sends the people their ballot. This is not the case considering only Boards of Elections can send people their ballots. Instead, FroshVote encourages those who are eligible and aids those who are voting.
FroshVote was very important to the past election. Because of the impact the younger voters made, our new President was elected. Here are a few words from the founder, Abe Baker-Butler:
“While youth voter turnout has been growing in recent years, it is still much lower than any other age group. And during the age of COVID-19, it’s become even harder for incoming college freshmen to connect with in-person voter registration resources on campus. That’s why we started FroshVote: to use the power of our networks and high school connections to get swing states college freshmen informed, registered and voting. The power of the youth is mindblowing. In most swing states, there are more college students than the typical electoral margin of victory. Yet, very few of these students vote due to the many obstacles placed in front of them. Young voters going off to college in swing states have tremendous power to shape the election, charting the course of our nation for the future. At FroshVote, our innovative model uses relational organizing, digital engagement, and crowdsourced content to enfranchise these votes and empower them to make a meaningful impact on the future of our nation. With our generation heavily invested in activism, voting is a natural way to turn our beliefs into a policy change (Baker-Butler).”
A political change was made in 2020. Because of the dissemination of FroshVote and the importance of voting, the results of the election turned out to be what they are.
If it weren’t for Abe Baker Butler, his ambassadors and FroshVote, swing states that went blue or red could have gone a different way. Because of the strong team at FroshVote and their determination, more college freshman and first-time voters were persuaded to send in their ballots. The more people that express their thoughts about our government by voting the better. It is important to take advantage of your rights. FroshVote is proud to confidently announce that this past fall they had successfully mobilized 1500 swing states college freshman voters. Let’s hear it for Abe and his fellow team members, who truly know how to make a positive change in American politics.