Kicking off 2020, Adelphi Votes is launching voting drives to get students ready for the presidential election year.
It’s official: The year 2020 is here. Not only just a new year, but a new decade, as well as another presidential election to see who will next lead our country. That’s right, one of the most heavily discussed, debated and crucial elections of our time, especially for college students, is approaching and is about to become real life.
The Adelphi Votes campaign kicked off its 2020 on-campus programming during the first full week of the spring semester by hosting on-site voter registration/absentee ballot application opportunities in all seven residence halls on Monday, January 27, through Thursday, January 30. Although these opportunities are especially accessible to those who live in these residence halls, commuter students are strongly encouraged and welcomed to complete voting forms as well.
For those who are not familiar with what the group does, as stated on Adelphi’s website, “As a nonpartisan coalition of students, faculty and staff, Adelphi Votes collaborates with the Nassau County Board of Elections and the League of Women Voters to provide information, educate the community about critical issues, simplify the registration process, and encourage you to vote.”
Kathleen Watchorn, coordinator of Adelphi Votes, shared insight into what the year holds for the Adelphi community, as well as how successful campus voting efforts have been in the past and how they are anticipated to be measured up to this year.
“Now that we are in the year 2020, I do hope there will be more attention paid to voter registration, which would include registering in time to vote in the New York state April 28 presidential primary, as well as the November 3 general, including presidential, election. Besides the residence hall programs, Adelphi Votes will be continuing voter registration through the April 18 deadline for the primary,” said Watchorn, who is also Adelphi’s coordinator of programs and projects.
In terms of educating students about different candidates and political parties, Adelphi Votes, sticking to being nonpartisan, directs any questions about political viewpoints or candidates’ platforms to the candidates’ websites. However, some topics that are stressed to help students or voters ages 18 to 24 truly see how important it is to make your vote count include student loan debt, affordable health insurance, jobs and climate issues.
In the past, overall interest of the Adelphi community in taking part in voting-related events and activities has been modest, according to Watchorn.
“As a whole, in the midterm elections, interest was moderate—presidential elections generally create more momentum—even though Adelphi Votes provides almost the same presence in the midterm elections,” she said. “Students must understand, however, that voting locally (village, town, county) has a more direct impact on their family and it’s just as important to vote then.”
The importance of voting this year is debatably higher than it has ever been.
“The 2020 election will result in the continuation of Trump and his administration or a dramatic change to a Democratic platform,” Watchorn said. “Many issues are viewed in different ways by the Republican and Democratic parties, including immigration, DACA, healthcare and climate, to name a few. This election will depend upon the voters’ knowledge and viewpoint as to these issues.”
When looking ahead to the next couple of months, with the presidential election getting closer and the help of constant media coverage, which can be both a good and bad thing, the voter will be given a heightened sense of awareness on candidates, according to Watchorn.
Most importantly, Adelphi Votes wishes for students to really take the time to think about how this year’s election and their vote is going to affect their lives long-term.
“I would encourage voters to balance their news or media sources, get to know the perspective of both parties, and not to rely completely on social media, which may not always be the best source,” Watchorn said. “They should ask themselves: What is important to me now and in four years that may result from the 2020 election? In 10 years, 20 years, will there be an impact on my personal and professional experience resulting from the 2020 election?”
Adelphi Votes will continue to be very involved on campus throughout the semester and upcoming year and is very open to and encouraging of student involvement. For more information, contact Kathleen Watchorn at firstname.lastname@example.org or 516.877.3660.
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