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National Voter Registration Day: How Emerson Encourages Students to Vote

Tuesday, September 22, is National Voter Registration Day, and through Student Engagement and Leadership (SEAL), the Communication Studies Department, and the Communication Politics and Law Association (CPLA), students have been given resources on how to register to vote, and be an informed voter.

SEAL has been pushing out information on its Instagram account, and Vice President and Dean of Campus Life Jim Hoppe emailed a survey to all students on September 14 asking students: With the presidential and other elections coming up this November, what are your plans for voting?

Students were also told why it’s vital for them to vote, to learn about what’s on their ballot, and links to learn more about the history of voting rights:

Voting Rights: A Short History, by the Carnegie Corporation

Who got the right to vote when? A history of voting rights in America, by Al Jazeera

The fight for the right to vote in the United States by Nicki Beaman Griffin (TED Ed video)

“It’s not just about the presidential election, it’s about the local elections and how those elected officials can really impact students’ lives too,” said Jenna Coviello, program coordinator for SEAL.

Through a partnership with TurboVote, students receive a popup prompt when logging into EmConnect that can direct them through the steps on how to register to vote.

CPLA is also doing a registration drive and hosting debate watching parties. The Zoom call debate parties are being held on the dates and times of the presidential and vice-presidential debates, and all undergraduate students will be emailed a Zoom invite. The first presidential debate is September 29. The chat function will be open so people can share their thoughts during the debate. There will also be a panel afterwards to discuss the debate in more detail.

“CPLA is so excited for these events to take place and are really hoping to not only increase voter registration, but also to increase the percentage of informed voters on campus,” said Alley Valton ’22, co-president of CPLA. “We’re going to be putting out a ton of informational materials on the importance of this election (including the exciting Massachusetts ballot initiatives), to make sure that students aren’t just voting, but voting with informed power!”

Other resources that have been provided to students include a link to the Campus Vote Project, which makes it easy to find out how to register and vote, including how to request an absentee ballot.

The College has a stated goal to have 70 percent of Emerson students who are eligible to vote to do so.

“I’ve been here for 10 years. And yes! We have certainly seen huge increases in voter engagement in the last four or five years,” said SEAL Director Jason Meier. “Students are realizing more than ever how important their voices are and how voting can help shape their local and national governments.”

“Voting is one of the most crucial components of our form of government. Countless individuals fought for the right to vote and we honor their struggle — and exercise our rights — by participating in this democratic process. We encourage all students eligible to do so to determine how they’re going to vote this fall, register, and take the appropriate steps to ensure they’ll be able to engage in voting,” wrote Hoppe.

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