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Fisher Community Unites during National Voters Registration Day

October 2, 2018

On Monday, Sept. 25, more than 100 members of the St. John Fisher College community registered to vote during the National Voters Registration Day event.

Students registered to vote during Fisher's National Voters Registration Day.

Gabriella Kielbasinski, president of the Political Action Club, called the event a huge success that drew a lot of involvement from the campus community.

“The event was a remarkable opportunity for us as a campus community to declare our value of civic responsibility,” she said, noting that the daylong voter registration drive allowed students to figure out their role in the political picture and give them access to the equipment to access their own political voice.

According to Dr. Kathleen Donovan, assistant professor of the Political Science Department, there are three main reasons why students should engage in the election process.

“Voting laws in New York are pretty strict. It takes seven to 30 days to submit an absentee ballot, so it's important to start thinking about it now rather than later,” Donovan explained. She also said it’s important to get into the habit of voting early on so it becomes habitual, especially among college students, who have a historically low voting participation numbers. Donovan said that can lead to their beliefs not being fully represented, when in fact, the act of voting is the easiest way to have an impact on the political process and make your voice heard.

During the event, students, faculty, and staff could register to vote, update their voter registration, request an absentee ballot, register to be an election inspector, and find answers to any questions they had. It was organized by the Political Action Club and Feminist Alliance, with support from the American Studies and Political Science departments, and the First Year Program.

Drawing more than three times the amount of registrations or updated voter forms, Donovan said part of this year’s success over last year’s was the concentrated timeframe. And this year, they designed the event to mainly target freshmen, focusing on the first year program and the learning communities.

If you missed National Voters Registration Day, Kielbasinski said not to worry. Individuals have until Friday, Oct. 12, to register by mail or online for the elections on Tuesday, Nov. 6.