Noe Abernathy, Class of 2012
After graduating from Stevens, Noe attended Dalton School(Class of 2016), recently graduated from Cornell in 2020, and is now the Chief Operations Officer of a startup called Voteology. The web-based app was created to educate college students about their right to vote and the significant impact it can have. Noe explained, “In college you can register to vote in your hometown or where you attend school. Most students don’t realize this, and assume they should register from home.” The app not only makes college students aware that they have a choice of where to vote, but it also calculates and compares the likely statistical value of your vote at the two different U.S. addresses. Noe explained,“The app compares relative competitiveness of the various political races and which location students should register in, to be the most impactful.”
Noe explains how the idea for this app was born and came to fruition. “When I was a freshman in 2016, I voted in my first major election. I had voted in the primaries before but this was the first presidential election that I was able to participate in. After the dust settled and votes were counted and decided, my friends and I noticed that a lot of people didn’t actually vote or know where or how they should have voted. People didn’t know where to get started or where they were supposed to be registering. This made us think about the big impact that young voters could have had or could have in future elections. We wanted it to be easier to figure out where it makes the most sense to register. We wanted to be that service for our peers.”
Noe went on to share the production and growth of the app. “In 2019, the founder and coder of the app coded the Voteology website and in March of 2020 we engaged in a soft launch. Then this past June, we had a hard launch and were able to put the app to use during the primaries, as well as the recent general election.” Voteology has had more than 5,000 users and kicked off a campus ambassadors program, with ambassadors at 20 schools around the country helping to promote the resource and get users started with the app.” Noe was excited to share that Cornell’s Greek life held a successful voter campaign using Voteology, which helped to spread awareness on the campus as well.
Noe noted, “This past general election we saw that youth voting increased by 10%. Many consider Gen Z-ers to be less of a focus for campaigning, but this past election we saw that voting among youth increased by an incredible amount. Students and young voters actually had a marked
impact on state outcomes. For instance, Georgia saw an increase in votes by young students and youth of color.”
At Cornell, Noe majored in Industrial and Labor Relations.“My passion for history started at Stevens. One of my favorite subjects was social studies, and that stuck with me through high school and into college.”
“Right now we are focused on the Georgia runoffs. We designed a new website for residents or school-goers in Georgia to vote before the voter registration deadline of December 7. If you’re 18 before January 5, you can register to vote, and we want to make sure young voters know this.”
Noe shared plans for the future of Voteology. “I’m excited to continue working on this app and we are now exploring partnering with universities and their research centers. We want to build on the current momentum, and continue to spread awareness that young people can decide the future of this country.”
This article was originally published in the 2020 Fall issue of Scoop Magazine.