Over the weekend of February 24, 2024, nine students teams (plus their staff/faculty advisors) from five college campuses across North Carolina competed in the second annual Redesigning Democracy Competition at Greensboro College. Over the course of the day, teams spent eight hours collaborating to devise a solution to one of democracy’s most pressing challenges: fair elections.

The Redesigning Democracy Competition (RDC) brings together students from across the political spectrum to deliberate on topics related to democracy that are either contested or in need of reform and intervention and to find common ground for action. 

This year, the challenge was “fair elections,” where students were asked to consider how elections could be restructured to give each vote and voice the same power. 

The competition began with a series of “Democracy Talks,” where experts in the fields of voting and elections prompted teams to explore how specific aspects of our electoral structures promote unfair elections. During the “Democracy Talks,” students learned about the effects of gerrymandering, voting systems, single-member electoral districts, and the electoral college. Guest speakers included:

  • Dr. Martha Kropf, Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at UNC Charlotte
  • Dr. Michael Bitzer, Leonard Chair of Political Science and Politics Department Chair at Catawba College
  • Tyler Daye, Policy and Civic Engagement Manager at Common Cause NC. 

After considering these elements of elections, students engaged in a dialogue on the topic of fair elections. The dialogue used was modified from a Living Room Conversations Conversation Guide. Students discussed their individual stories and experiences through prompts relating to democratic ideals, their belief in whether their vote truly counts, and personal concerns and experiences with the effects of unfair elections on the state of democracy. 

Each campus team then had just one hour to develop a presentation proposing their idea for how to address the challenge of making elections more fair. The winning team, UNC-Chapel Hill Team 2, proposed “Democracy Driven,” a transportation and childcare system that would make polling places more accessible and enfranchise voters from both the majority and minority political party in a particular region.

A panel of seven judges scored the presentations and selected winners. Judges included experts as well as volunteers from the Braver Angels Alliance of Central North Carolina. 


2024 Redesigning Democracy Winners:

1st Place: UNC-Chapel Hill Team 2 ($500 + $50 Amazon gift card for each student)

Presentation: “Democracy Driven”

Musopa Kalenga (Advisor), Kate Hodgin, Gowri Abhinanda, Joshua Alexander, Sophomore






2nd Place: Warren Wilson College Team 1 ($250 + $25 Amazon gift card for each student)

Presentation: “Reducing the Influence of Money in Politics”

Taelyn Reid (Advisor), Syd Johnson, Emma Wrzeszcz, Jocelyn Duncan




3rd Place: NC Central University Team 2 ($25 Amazon gift card for each student)

Presentation: “F.A.I.R Act”

Joseph Gallo (Advisor), Chantel Chestnutt, Sara Rugama Artola, Ronni Butts, Savion Jarvis





 NC Campus Engagement would like to thank Rev. Dr. Robert Brewer and Greensboro College for hosting the second annual RDC. Thank you to Dr. Kropf, Dr. Bitzer, and Mr. Daye for serving as guest speakers and judges. Finally, thank you to the Braver Angels Alliance of Central North Carolina for sending volunteers to judge the presentations. 

View the photo gallery below!