The Team

Each state’s chapter of The Polling Place is led by one to three regional directors.

Esha Lohiya | Director of Virginia

Esha is a junior at Oakton High School. She is interested in various sciences as well as politics. Esha enjoys giving back to her community by hosting STEM workshops for local children and volunteering at hospitals and senior homes. Through The Polling Place, Esha wants to increase voter turnout, especially amongst young voters. In her free time, she enjoys reading, running, and spending time with friends and family.

Kaitlyn Lu | Director of Virginia

Kaitlyn is a senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. She likes computer science and has experience in robotics, website development, competitive programming, and more. In her free time, she likes watching dramas, reading speculative historical fiction, and writing short stories.


Daniel Qiu | VA Research Team

Daniel Qiu is a junior at Thomas Jefferson high school. He enjoys doing computer science in his free time but is also interested in current events. Through Polling Place, he seeks help improve knowledge about politics throughout the country.

Nithya Rajesh | VA Research Team

Nithya is a junior in Virginia. She’s interested in business, law, and politics something that she hopes to study and pursue in the future. Nithya has just started worked as a researcher at the Polling Place Virginia team. She has experience in Mock Trial and has experience in debate and politics at high school competitions. Through the Polling Place, she seeks to help voters feel confident when it comes to voting and help to increase voter numbers in youth. In her free time, she enjoys playing tennis, eating pasta, and watching Suits.

Aditi Bhattacharjya | Virginia Research Team

Aditi is a junior at Oakton High School. She is passionate about public policy, law, and political philosophy. She pursues these interests through policy debate, Model UN, and various service-oriented organizations. Aditi hopes to increase voter turnout and political awareness through her work at The Polling Place, especially for historically underrepresented groups. Her interests aside from policy include linguistics and economics. In her free time, she enjoys bullet journaling, dance, and getting boba tea with her friends.

Felix Howton | Virginia Research Team

Felix is a junior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. He has a passion for politics and current events. Through The Polling Place, he hopes to make it easier to find non partisan information about local elections and to inspire others to participate in the electoral process. In his free time he enjoys play soccer, reading, playing video games and spending time with friends.

Trevor Darr | VA Research Team

Trevor is a senior in the International Baccalureate program at Princess Anne High School in Virginia Beach, VA. Trevor’s chief interests are political science and astrophysics, and he is especially interested in the intersection of international relations and scientific policy. Trevor enjoys finding opportunites to perform research in both STEM and the humanities, write prose in a variety of forms, and captain his school’s quiz bowl team.

Sean Lacalle | Virginia Research Team

Sean is a junior at Westfield High School. Sean is deeply fascinated by public policy and constitutional law. Sean is active in his community giving back mostly through Scouts, and Sean is especially engaged in environmental conservation projects. Through The Polling Place, Sean wishes to present candidate information in a non-partisan way. In his free time, Sean enjoys watching football and playing video games.

Elliot Jang | VA Research Team

Elliot is a senior at Trinity Christian School in Fairfax County, VA. He is interested in multiple fields of science, and is especially interested in biomechanics. Through The Polling Place, he hopes to contribute to educate young voters and increase political efficacy. In his free time, Elliot enjoys swimming, working out, and videography.

Jacqueline Ake | VA Research Team

Jacqueline is a sophomore at Thomas Jefferson High School of Science and Technology. While she is fascinated by biology and medicine, she is also interested in policy in government, specifically in elected office. At The Polling Place, she wants to drive changes in politicians’ accountability through informing voters. In her free time, Jacqueline enjoys playing the French Horn, hanging out with her friends, and playing with her cat.

David Li | VA Research Team

David is a senior at Thomas Jefferson High School. He’s interested in computer science and its intersections with humanities. With his experiences in debate, David hopes to apply his research skills with the Research Team to learn more about candidates across the country. In his free time, he enjoys watching football, listening to music, and playing chess.

Interested in joining our team? Apply here!