Cal Times

Student Government encourages student voting on Nov. 8

Brandi Flynn, Contributor

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Election Day, Nov. 8, is quickly approaching, and Americans are preparing to cast their votes. The California University of Pennsylvania Student Government has developed new programs to make voting an easier process for students.

It has been brought to the attention of the student government that some students are not voting because their registration address requires them to vote in their home towns. In other cases, students have simply never taken the time to register.

“I had the opportunity to vote in the last election, but I never registered,” said Jess McCullough, student at Cal U. “Now looking back, I wish I had voted then.”

In order to promote voting and fix this issue, the student government has worked to encourage students to register using their school residency address throughout their college years. Students who live on campus or in the town of California will vote at the California Borough Building, and students who live at Vulcan Village will vote at the United Christian Church in Coal Center.

To make voting even more convenient for students, the student government took the initiative to work with student affairs to provide transportation for students on Election Day. A van will run continuous loops every half hour from 12:30 – 7:30 p.m. transporting students to the two locations.

Free transportation is just one of the student government’s tactics to encourage voting among students. California University of Pennsylvania Student Government President, Shaina Hilsey, has been working to promote voting throughout her term.

“Last year, when I took over the role of Student Government President, we started the voter registration campaign,” said Hilsey. “We encouraged students to register to vote and actually gave out free ice cream to those who did.”

Hilsey said she urges students who live on campus or in campus housing to change their voter registration addresses while in college. The student government is encouraging students to make this change in hopes that a convenient voting experience will cause more students to continue voting in the future.

“If you’re not registered to vote in the California area you may have to fill out an absentee ballot to vote here,” said Hilsey. “We’d recommend just changing your voting address. it’s as easy as going to the state’s website and changing your information.”

While the student government is working to promote voting, they are staying neutral and not influencing students in the direction of either candidate in particular.  The student government wants students to feel as though their vote makes an impact no matter who they are pushing for.

“Some groups are openly pushing for certain candidates, but we are trying to stay away from that,” said Hilsey. “We just want to provide safe transportation to the polls, awareness of Election Day, and get ourselves out there.”

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Student Government encourages student voting on Nov. 8