Election Engagement


The Harward Center hopes to cultivate student participation in election 2017 through several means, including active support for initiatives led by others on campus.

2017 Election Information

Candidate Profiles:

The Sun Journal recently posted candidate profiles for the Lewiston City Council, School Committee, and Mayoral races and is offering open access until November 9, 2017.

City Council Ward 1: Jim Lysen (unopposed)

City Council Ward 3: Alicia Rea (unopposed)

School Committee Ward 1: Renee Courtemanche

School Committee Ward 1: Ahmed Sheikh

School Committee Ward 3: Francis Gagnon (unopposed)

School Committee At-Large: Safiya Khalid

School Committee At-Large: Megan Parks

All Mayoral Candidates: Shane Bouchard, Mark Cayer, Ben Chin, Ronald Potvin, and Charles Soule

Information on the Merger/Consolidation of Lewiston and Auburn:

Lewiston and Auburn merger rivals debate economic benefits (Sun Journal; 10/3/17)

Auburn Debate

Lewiston Debate

2017 Referendum Information

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.

Information on the Referendum Questions from the Maine Association of Retirees

2017 Voter Registration Information

For non-partisan information on registering and voting in Maine, please  go to the website of the Maine Secretary of State.

Ongoing Programmatic Electoral Engagement Efforts

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.


Writing a Letter to the Editor

Communicating with Legislators