The Institute of Politics (IOP) kicked-off a 10-day voter registration drive yesterday that will culminate in a carnival on the Quad featuring the band They Might be Giants.
Last night the IOP began tabling at upperclass Houses, encouraging students to register and vote in the upcoming Nov. 7 election.
This was also the start of an IOP-sponsored competition to see which House can produce the most registered voters.
Houses that register 100 percent of their residents will compete for prizes including airline tickets, DVD players, stereo systems and Celtics tickets.
All of the members of the first House to reach 100 percent will be invited to attend an Oct. 17 reception with Arizona Sen. John S. McCain.
The three first-year yards are also included in the competition.
The IOP's registration drive began during first-year course registration, when students could register and obtain an absentee ballot at Robinson Hall.
IOP workers can register students to vote in Massachusetts or help them get an absentee ballot in their home states.
So far response from first-year students has been positive.
"I thought the process was a snap," Travis G. Good '04.
Nathan P. Lange '04 said, "Without [the IOP's] presence at registration, I wouldn't have known how to get an absentee ballot."
Those involved with the drive said they hope to reach every undergraduate.
"Every House should have a table at their dining room," said E. Clarke Tucker '03, who is organizing the drive for the IOP.
Hannah Choi '01, chair of the IOP's student advisory committee, said the registration drive will make participating in November's election as easy as possible.
"It's a pretty painless way to register," Choi said.
Oct. 17 is the deadline to register to vote in Massachusetts for the presidential election.
The registration campaign will culminate Oct. 15 with a day of politics and games sponsored by Harvard Youth for Political Empowerment (HYPE).
The event will include carnival games, political speakers and booths manned by politically involved student groups, as well as a They Might Be Giants concert. The three-hour festival will also feature booths giving students one last chance to register to vote.
Lisa B. Schwartz '03, one of the carnival organizers, stressed that the day is meant to encourage participation in this election and increase political enthusiasm in general.
"The purpose [of HYPE day] is to energize and excite Harvard students about the upcoming election," Schwartz said.
"It's just a fun day so people can see how getting involved can be a fun experience."