Many campus events fuel Election Day momentum

Roger Coda
American Democracy Project logo

A discussion led by two Department of Communication faculty members that explores the media and presidential campaigns, the opportunity to become a poll worker and a post-election wrap-up conversation are three ways students can become engaged in the general election process through the campus’ American Democracy Project (ADP).

Mike Igoe and Elmer Ploetz, associate professors in the Department of Communication, will facilitate the virtual discussion on Thursday, Oct. 22, from 8 to 9 p.m. Students and others can register for the event online. Once registered, they will receive Zoom login information. 

The Chautauqua County Board of Elections is looking for people to work at the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 3. It is a paid position that can be listed on a resume. More information is available on the Chautauqua County Board of Elections website.

A poll worker recently advised ADP members, "There’s a certain magic to seeing democracy in action on election days...plus, younger poll workers provide valuable comfort with technology – older poll workers know they need help!" 

In another election-related topic, absentee ballot applications must be postmarked by Tuesday, Oct. 27, with the actual ballot being postmarked by Nov. 3. The online link has more information on absentee voting. Go online to fill out an absentee ballot application. Email to schedule a day and time to meet virtually with someone for help with an absentee ballot.

Early voting in New York starts on Saturday, Oct. 24. Vote Early NY makes it really easy to navigate early voting from any location in New York state. ADP also encourages students to check out Vote Early Day, a new national celebration for Early Voting, on Oct. 24. The organization also has lots of resources about promoting and supporting early voting for students.

ADP will offer transportation from campus to the Wheelock Primary School, a polling site, on Election Day. The bus will run from 2 to 6 p.m. Pick up will be outside the Williams Center near the Park and Ride bus shelter. The last trip leaving the Williams Center will be at 5:30 p.m., and the last one back to campus from Wheelock will be at 6 p.m.

"The Results Explained & How to Stay Involved," a virtual discussion featuring panelists that include Department of Politics and International Affairs Professor and Chair David Rankin, Academic Advising Assistant David Phillips, SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus Jim Hurtgen and Bella Wilder, a first-year student majoring in Political Science and Adolescence Education: Social Studies, will be held on Thursday, Nov. 12, from 4 to 5 p.m. The panel will be moderated by ADP Chair and Department of Communication Assistant Professor Angela McGowan-Kirsch. Students and others can register online for the virtual event

At the end of this event, winners of the ADP’s election 2020 competition will be announced. Once students register they will receive the Zoom login information. 

Students will be entered to win $50 or $100 for the student club of their choice each time they participate in an election-themed event.

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