Karsen Wahal | Co-Founder, Former National Director
Karsen is a sophomore at Stanford University. He’s interested in economics, data science, and politics, with a focus on leveraging quantitative skills to improve government policy and operations. Karsen co-founded The Polling Place in August 2020, and has since led its national expansion. Karsen has previously worked with government agencies, the U.S. Senate, nonprofits, and numerous Stanford faculty members. Through The Polling Place, he seeks to improve voter turnout and political efficacy, especially at the local level. In his free time, he enjoys watching sports, hiking, and playing with his dogs.
Anya Wahal | Co-Founder, Former Director of Outreach
Anya is a senior at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University studying Science, Technology, & International Affairs. Anya is a Research Fellow at the Mortara Center for International Studies, working on projects relating to urban spatial mapping and international development. She spearheads environmental and voter initiatives through the Georgetown Renewable Energy and Environmental Network. With The Polling Place, Anya hopes to advocate for the importance of voter accessibility & outreach. In her free time, she enjoys reading, journaling, and cooking with family.
Alicia Wu | Co-Founder, Former Director of Website
Alicia is a senior at Harvard University studying Statistics and Computer Science. She’s interested in creatively leveraging and visualizing data in entrepreneurship, product design, and social innovation. Previously, Alicia has led business development at a student-run user research startup, created tech roadmaps and data dashboards for industry clients at her campus consulting group, and published research on educational inequity. Through The Polling Place, she seeks to educate herself and others about local, less visible political races in Arizona. In her free time, she loves cooking, gouache painting, and dog spotting.
Anuka Upadhye | Co-Founder, Former Director of Social Media
Anuka is a senior at George Washington University studying International Affairs and Philosophy. Throughout her time in college, she seeks to understand how natural resource scarcity influences international and human security. She’s also interested in the intersection between ethics, morality, and international affairs. Anuka currently works at Blue Knot Strategies, a political firm that provides strategic solutions for women and minorities running for office. She hopes that The Polling Place will create more informed voters and ultimately strengthen democracy. Aside from academics, Anuka enjoys tennis and photography.
Madhura Shembekar | Co-Founder, Former Director of Outreach
Madhura is a freshman at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. She’s interested in journalism, politics, and international affairs. Madhura is passionate about social justice initiatives that further equality in speech and debate and diversify school curriculums. She’s been studying Indian classical music for the last thirteen years. Through The Polling Place, she seeks to increase turnout among young voters. In her free time, she enjoys listening to Frank Ocean and running.