WCU students reg­is­ter to vote as part of na­tion­wide ef­fort

Tues­day was Na­tional Voter Regis­tra­tion Day

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Pete Ban­nan pban­nan@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @pe­te­ban­nan on Twit­ter

WEST CHESTER >> Students at West Chester Uni­ver­sity took part in Na­tional Voter Regis­tra­tion Day Tues­day.

Clubs and or­ga­ni­za­tions across cam­pus vol­un­teered their time at ta­bles set up across cam­pus to en­cour­age students and staff to reg­is­ter to vote and know their polling lo­ca­tions ahead of Elec­tion Day.

The last day to reg­is­ter to vote be­fore the Nov. 8 elec­tion is Oct. 11 in Penn­syl­va­nia.

Aileen As­summa, co­or­di­na­tor of the non­par­ti­san ef­fort by the Of­fice of Ser­vice Learn­ing and Vol­un­teer Pro­grams, es­ti­mated 2,000 students and staff had registered or changed their regis­tra­tion ad­dress since last fall. She said a cou­ple hun­dred students have registered this se­mes­ter, most of which are in­com­ing fresh­men.

“We’re re­ally try­ing to raise aware­ness and help get students to vot­ing lo­ca­tions,” As­summa said while ask­ing students to reg­is­ter on the aca­demic quad Tues­day af­ter­noon. “We have vot­ing ta­bles set up through­out cam­pus in­clud­ing Sykes Stu­dent Union and the li­brary.”

As­summa spent much of her time di­rect­ing students to the

VotesPA.com web­site to find their polling place. The site also of­fers the abil­ity to change your ad­dress on­line. First-time vot­ers need to bring valid iden­ti­fi­ca­tion to the polling place. The West Chester Uni­ver­sity stu­dent ID card is in­cluded in the list of ac­cept­able iden­ti­fi­ca­tion.

As­summa said many students pre­fer to reg­is­ter on cam­pus be­cause many are un­able to travel back to their homes on Elec­tion Day.

As­summa, a ju­nior from Westch­ester, New York, plans to cast her vote via an ab­sen­tee bal­lot. She said West Chester Uni­ver­sity has helped with the ef­forts, send­ing an email from the uni­ver­sity pres­i­dent to all students en­cour­ag­ing them to vote.

As­summa also cred­ited the Don­ald Trump cam­paign for plan­ning an event at the uni­ver­sity last April. She said the visit mo­ti­vated students to be in­ter­ested in pol­i­tics and to reg­is­ter to vote.

“I think our school did a great job of get­ting both sides fairly rep­re­sented at the Trump rally — pro­test­ers on one side and sup­port­ers on the other,” As­summa said.

“It’s mak­ing it (the elec­tion) more real,” said vol­un­teer or­ga­nizer Sa­man­tha Stal­ford, a se­nior from Green Lane. “It’s hard to ig­nore when a can­di­date is on your cam­pus.”

As with most students at West Chester, this is the first pres­i­den­tial elec­tion Stal­ford will vote in. She did vote in the spring pri­mary. On Tues­day, she was busy sign­ing up fresh­man students, in­clud­ing Jessica Ep­stein of Haver­town, Tay­lor Ryan of Me­dia, and Lau­ren Miller of As­ton. Their friend, Mor­gan Spor­nak, a fresh­man from Warmin­ster, had al­ready registered when she moved on cam­pus.

Asked what their mo­ti­va­tion was, Miller also cred­ited Trump.

“I don’t want Don­ald to be pres­i­dent,” she said. “I think he’d be very bad at it.”

PETE BAN­NAN — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

West Chester Uni­ver­sity se­nior Sa­man­tha Stal­ford and ju­nior Aileen As­summa sign up students to vote on the cam­pus’s aca­demic quad Tues­day.

PETE BAN­NAN — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

West Chester Uni­ver­sity se­nior Sa­man­tha Stal­ford of­fers candy to fresh­man students, in­clud­ing Jessica Ep­stein of Haver­town, Tay­lor Ryan of Me­dia, and Lau­ren Miller of As­ton af­ter they signed up to vote.

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