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StanfordVotes is a

non-partisan, university-wide, student-run organization

to increase voter turnout among Stanford students. Formed in response to the low student voter turnout rates in 2014 and 2016, StanfordVotes engages with campus leadership and other stakeholders to help create a culture of civic engagement on the Farm. StanfordVotes is run through the Stanford in Government (SIG) Civic Engagement Branch in collaboration with the Haas Center for Public Service, and has partnerships with the Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU) and the President’s Office.


During the 2018 election, volunteers encouraged Stanford community members to vote through tabling in White Plaza, a Party at the Post Office event, and registering people to vote in dining halls. Due to these and other efforts, student turnout increased from 16.9% in 2014 to 42.7% in 2018. Since 2018, we’ve implemented an enrollment hold, which encourages students to register to vote (if eligible) before they’re allowed to sign up for classes. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the unprecedented nature of last year’s election cycle, we aimed for even better numbers in 2020 through new partnerships and creative methods of digital engagement.

Campus Partners


Current Leadership


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Lexi (she/her) is a junior and Bay Area native studying History and Digital Humanities. As Vice Chair, she looks forward to demystifying the ballot and expanding student voting accessibility. She also serves as Director of Legislative Advocacy for the Every Vote Counts national student board.


Outside of StanfordVotes, Lexi assists with research at the Clayman Institute, hikes the Dish, and chugs Coupa matcha.

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Emily Tianshi 

Emily Tianshi (she/her) is a junior from San Diego studying Data Science and International Relations. This is her third year in StanfordVotes, and she is thrilled to continue building pro-voter strategies at Stanford. Emily is passionate about technology policy and has worked at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, Stanford Internet Observatory, and Stanford Law School’s Non-Practicing Entity Database. She loves deciduous trees, 80’s music, and late-night strolls. 


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Sophie Szew

Director, Voter Education

Sophie Szew (she/they) is a Los Angeles-born mental health activist, writer, and public speaker. She was a youth leader at MTV’s Mental Health Youth Action Forum at the White House, where she helped guide the Biden-Harris administration on how to best serve the needs of youth in the mental healthcare system. Sophie is also a 3-time intern at the U.S. House of Representatives and an internationally recognized poet, serving as an inaugural poet to Mayor Karen Bass. She has advised numerous organizations on their youth mental health policies, including Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation, Mental Health America, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).


As a second-year student at Stanford University, she is pursuing a double-major in American Studies and Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, with two minors in Human Rights and Creative Writing. Sophie hopes to combine their own experiences with injustice brought about by mental healthcare inequity with her passion for writing, advocacy, and leadership to help promote civic engagement!


Nicholas Harvey

Director, Institutional Relations

Nicholas Harvey (he/him) is a sophomore from the San Francisco Bay Area. As Director of Institutional Relations, Nicholas looks forward to working with existing StanfordVotes partners while also expanding the role of StanfordVotes on campus. Specifically, he is keen to expand StanfordVotes's operations to involve international students as well. Nicholas's interest in government is primarily at the local and state level; he has prior experience interning with local government and advocating for policy change at the local and state level.


Nicholas is a linguistics major, focusing on language preservation and other areas of applied linguistics. Outside of Stanford, Nicholas enjoys spending time outdoors, reading, and being with his family.

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Aubrey Merrill

Director, Civic Programs

Aubrey (she/her) is a sophomore who plans to major in Political Science and co-term in Public Policy. As Director of Civic Programs, Aubrey looks forward to working with the Democracy Day committee to make the 2023 rendition the best ever! As a passionate advocate for disability rights law and voting accessibility, Aubrey also hopes to plan events in collaboration with other student organizations and community centers on campus to teach students about their voting rights. In addition to StanfordVotes, Aubrey is also a devoted member of the Stanford ACLU. 


Outside of advocacy work, Aubrey enjoys reading (not required texts), rock climbing, musical theatre, and playing with her two dogs back home in Southern Oregon. 

Past Directors


Cameron Lange


Emily Handsel


Sean Casey

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Liana Keesing


Chase Small



Alex Chau



Christina Li



Antonia Hellman


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