Election Engagement


The Harward Center hopes to cultivate student participation in election 2016 through several means, including active support for initiatives led by others on campus.

2016 Election Information

Please click here to download this information in a PDF.

Helpful Links:

For non-partisan information on registering and voting in Maine and for information on the issues on the ballot (including the referendum questions), please go to the website of the League of Women Voters.

For non-partisan information on registering and voting in Maine, please  go to the website of the Maine Secretary of State.  There is a link at this site to extensive information about the referendum questions on the Maine ballot.

For non-partisan information on where the presidential candidates stand on various issues (including their philosophy regarding the Supreme Court appointments), and the possible outcomes of voting for a third party in this election, please review the following online guides provided by the Campus Compact Election Engagement Project:

Non-Partisan Candidate Guide for 2016 U.S. Presidential Race
The Supreme Court and the Election: A Non-Partisan Guide
Visionaries or Spoilers: Third Parties and the 2016 Election

A survey of the stands of local, legislative candidates on certain issues should be available within a few weeks from the Sun Journal.

Listed below are the referenda questions that will appear on the Maine ballot on November 8, 2016.  For more information on these questions, please visit the website of the Maine Secretary of State.

Question 1:  Citizen’s Initiative
Do you want to allow the possession and use of marijuana under state law by persons who are at least 21 years of age, and allow the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, testing, and sale of marijuana and marijuana products subject to state regulation, taxation and local ordinance?

Question 2:   Citizen’s Initiative
Do you want to add a 3% tax on individual Maine taxable income above $200,000 to create a state fund that would provide direct support for student learning in kindergarten through 12th grade public education?

Question 3:   Citizen’s Initiative
Do you want to require background checks prior to the sale or transfer of firearms between individuals not licensed as firearms dealers, with failure to do so punishable by law, and with some exceptions for family members, hunting, self-defense, lawful competitions, and shooting range activity?

Question 4:   Citizen’s Initiative
Do you want to raise the minimum hourly wage of $7.50 to $9 in 2017, with annual $1 increases up to $12 in 2020, and annual cost-of-living increases thereafter; and do you want to raise the direct wage for service workers who receive tips from half the minimum wage to $5 in 2017, with annual $1 increases until it reaches the adjusted minimum wage?

Question 5:   Citizen’s Initiative
Do you want to allow voters to rank their choices of candidates in elections for U.S. Senate, Congress, Governor, State Senate, and State Representative, and to have ballots counted at the state level in multiple rounds in which last-place candidates are eliminated until a candidate wins by majority?

Question 6:   Bond Issue
Do you favor a $100,000,000 bond issue for construction, reconstruction and rehabilitation of highways and bridges and for facilities, equipment and property acquisition related to ports, harbors, marine transportation, freight and passenger railroads, aviation, transit and bicycle and pedestrian trails, to be used to match an estimated $137,000,000 in federal and other funds?

In addition to the information provided above, the following three programmatic efforts related to Election Engagement are either already underway or are in development:

Student Choices, Student Voices (SCSV)

  • This is a program sponsored by the Project Pericles consortium of which Bates is a member. The program encourages colleges and universities to develop innovative projects on campus and in the community to engage voters in the election process and government. SCSV seeks to increase voter registration and voting for students and community members. Under SCSV, Pericleans hold one or more events on campus and/or in the community that relate to at least one aspect of the 2016 Presidential Elections. SCSV encourages and facilitates thoughtful engagement of students in the political process—learning about candidates, understanding issues, and championing knowledgeable opinions.
  • SCSV works directly with designated students on campus (through virtual means), connecting them to students with similar issue area interests at other campuses, and providing them with ideas and encouragement for engaging their peers in the political process.
  • To date, four Bates students are participating in this program.

The Campus Election Engagement Project

  • This program is sponsored by Maine Campus Compact and works with campus administrators, faculty, staff, and student leaders, providing the support needed to engage students in local, state, and federal elections. The program taps into resources drawn from colleges and universities throughout the country (e.g., non-partisan election guides) and adds personalized coaching, guiding campuses on how to use these resources to navigate students through ever-changing barriers to voting.
  • For Election 2014, the Harward Center hosted the college’s participation in this project, which included voter registration drives on campus, residence hall programming, and TurboVote as a voter registration option. We also supported the great work of the Politics Department (speaker series, watch parties, etc.).

#College Debate 2016

  • Hosted by Dominican University of California, Bates is a voter education partner for this initiative, which will use technology and social media plus a nationwide network of diverse student delegates to energize students to be active in our democracy. (Diversity includes diverse ideas and political worldviews.)
  • Partner institutions like Bates nominated students to apply to serve as 2016 College Convention Delegates. Delegates will attend a delegate training at Dominican University on June 2-3 and will gather again for the Convention on September 9-10 (travel, meals, and accommodations provided). At the first gathering, delegates attend seminars and workshops equipping and inspiring them to return to their campuses to engage voters and promote involvement in the election process. As part of the Convention in September, a 90-minute moderated Town Hall meeting will be streamed live to watch gatherings at the delegates’ home campuses across the country. Peers will engage virtually. The final product of the evening will be a memo to the moderators of the Presidential Debates that will suggest the key issues the College Delegates want the candidates to address.