Fall Data Challenge: Get Out the Vote! 

This is Statistics announces its fifth annual Fall Data Challenge, a national contest for high school and undergraduate students to apply their statistical and data visualization skills to examine a relevant and timely topic and demonstrate the real-world impact of data.

In this year’s Get Out the Vote Challenge, students will work in teams to apply their statistical skills to real voter-turnout data and provide insights to inspire more people to vote in the upcoming November 3rd election. This will be accomplished through a rich and interesting dataset about voting behaviors in the U.S. from the Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics, provided by the IPUMS organization and curated by ASA.

The contest is open for submissions from Oct. 19 through Nov. 11, at 11:59 PM EST.

Teachers, get your class involved with these tips & resources

How Does the Contest Work?

Teams of two to five high school or undergraduate students can submit an entry. Each team must submit its presentation by 11:59 PM EST on November 11 to be eligible. Submissions will require a short essay (500 words max) describing the team’s process and presenting its analysis and recommendations via a PowerPoint presentation (10 slides max). Get the full 2020 Fall Data Challenge Guidelines here.

A link to the submission form will be provided on the Fall Data Challenge webpage starting on the official contest launch date, October 19.

Awards will be given in three categories: (1) Best Overall Analysis, (2) Best Visualization, and (3) Best Use of External Data.

All teams must utilize the IPUMS-ASA U.S. Voting Behaviors dataset in their entry. Using an additional external dataset is not required for general submission, but only teams that do so will qualify for the Best Use of External Data category.

View the judging rubric for more about how these categories are assessed and what the judges are looking for.

Prizes and Perks

Winning teams will receive a $50 Amazon gift card, complimentary memberships to ASA, and a Fall Data Challenge winners t-shirt, along with bragging rights and participation in an important real-world issue.

Winners also receive special commendation and recognition among ASA’s membership. Second and third place winners also will be recognized.

Download the complete contest rules and requirements


All submissions must utilize the IPUMS-ASA U.S. Voting Behaviors dataset. This rich dataset includes information about voting behaviors in the U.S. over the past 14 years.

Drawing from the survey data from the Census Bureau and Department of Labor Statistics collected on a sample of Americans every two years immediately following the November elections, the full dataset is large—it includes 28 variables on more than 640,000 cases (more about subsetting the dataset is coming soon). But, thanks to the IPUMS organization, it is also very clean, usable and well documented.

For an introduction to the dataset, details about the types of information included, a description of the dataset variable codes, and recommended data analysis tools, review the Get Out the Vote Dataset 101 & Glossary and Get Out the Vote Dataset FAQ (also available as a PDF, but the Google document will be updated as need with responses to additional questions).

All teams must utilize the IPUMS-ASA U.S. Voting Behaviors dataset in their entry; although not required for general submission, to qualify for the Best Use of External Data category, teams must also utilize an additional dataset identified on their own.

Download the dataset and get started