When not in an online class, Aiyana Edwards, 18, who’s in her second year at Spelman College in Atlanta, can be found texting first-time and young voters, eager to empower her peers at the historically Black women’s college to vote for the people and policies that best align with the changes they want to see in their communities.

Edwards is a fellow with Rise, a national nonprofit that builds student advocacy campaigns, through which she learned how to mobilize new, diverse voters. Now, she helps friends and classmates, as well as other college students in Georgia, register and check their registration, make plans to vote in person or by mail, see a sample ballot and research candidates and ballot measures.

An aspiring civil rights lawyer, she recognizes that the language and instructions on the ballot aren’t always easy to comprehend. “That’s a strategy,” she said. “That’s a tactic to confuse voters.”

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