UB Votes Effort releases voter information and Election Day polling locations
As voter registration deadline nears, here’s what to know before Election Day
While a small number of students have voted in an election before, Nov. 8 will be the first time many will vote in a presidential election.
UB Votes Effort, a new initiative on campus, is working on registering students and faculty to vote before the voter registration deadline on Oct. 14. Students are tabling in the Student Union, across campus and are going into classes as requested to register students to vote. Jude Butch, coordinator of UB Votes and assistant director of student engagement, started the initiative.
As of Sept. 30, over 700 UB students have registered to vote under the initiative. UB Votes will hand-deliver the registration forms to the board of elections.
On Nov. 8, polling places will be as follows: students who live in Governors Hall, Hadley Village, South Lake Village or Flint Village will vote in the Student Union. Students who live in Greiner Hall, the Ellicott Complex, Creekside Village, Flickinger Court, or the Villas on Sweethome, will vote at Sweet Home High School on Sweet Home Road. Students who live on Main Street, Goodyear Hall, Clement Hall and indicated areas of the University Heights will be voting in the Gloria J. Parks Community Center on Main Street.
Shuttles transport students to and from the off-campus polling places.
The board of elections decided on the polling locations, according to Butch.
“Sometimes registering is not as straightforward as one would hope,” Butch said. “I think our overall goal is to provide non-partisan support for voter engagement on campus, especially among students.”
As part of the student engagement office, Butch is responsible for community engagement as well.
Many came to Butch and voiced their interest in voter engagement and registration.
“I had the idea, what if we brought these divergent voices together under one campus-wide initiative,” Butch said. “I saw a need in campus and a need in the community [to bring about the initiative].”
The effort consists of roughly 10 faculty, undergraduate and graduate student representatives from Academic Affairs, University Life & Services and clubs and organizations such as Student Association (SA), Graduate Student Association (GSA) and the Social Work Student Association.
There have been two large committee meetings to begin the collective effort. UB Votes meetings are open to everyone interested in helping the voting initiative.
They also held training sessions for undergraduate and graduate students to staff tables in SU and go into classrooms to teach students how to register. Andrew Stott, vice provost and dean of Undergraduate Education, sent out an email to faculty for UB Votes to come into their classrooms. As of Sept. 30, UB Votes has gone into roughly 20 classes, according to Butch.
Butch wishes more professors were taking advantage.
“The wider the outreach, the better,” Butch said.
UB Votes is an “ad-hoc” committee and will come together anytime there is an election, according to Butch. The group will also be hosting a viewing party of the last presidential debate on Oct. 19 in the Student Union Lobby.