Daemen is encouraging its community members to exercise the right to vote through the annual “Get Civically Fit” initiative sponsored by the History & Political Science Department, Athletics, Institutional Advancement, and Student Affairs.
“The campaign focuses its efforts by likening civic fitness to physical fitness – just as we need to pay attention to our physical health, we should be attentive to our civic health as well – be informed, be active, and exercise our rights,” said Lisa Parshall, professor of political science and pre-law advisor at Daemen.
A joint effort, the campaign taps into student leadership, including the student-athlete contingency to provide peer support and modeling of civic responsibility, explained Parshall. “We also employed Daemen’s Marketing and Communications team to brand the effort,” she said.
This year, a new campaign website serves as a central hub of helpful voter information, including election dates, voter registration deadlines, and absentee ballot request deadlines.
“The purpose of the site is to highlight the value of electoral participation and ensure that everyone who is eligible to vote has the nonpartisan support and assistance they need to get registered and turnout to vote,” said Parshall. “The campaign also exemplifies Daemen University’s commitment to civic engagement as a competency or learning objective – we want our community members and students to exercise their political voice and their electoral rights. We also want to make it as easy as possible for students to register with the online resource page.”
Students, faculty, and staff can access guidelines and checklists regarding necessary requirements for voter eligibility in the U.S. on the site. Links and directions to government resources, including the New York Board of Elections, New York State’s online Absentee Ballot Application portal, and more are also available.
In addition, the site provides information on how to become an election inspector, or poll worker. Direct links to applications in Erie County, New York City, and other counties in New York are available, along with a link to helpful FAQs.
Overall, Parshall said the campaign helps emphasize the importance of voting in this year’s elections, stating, “Just because the presidency is not on the ballot in this midterm, it does not mean that the elections do not matter. This year, New York State has some highly important races, including several competitive congressional district races that will be critical to determining the control of Congress at the national level.”
She added, “Voting is power. The 18 to 24 year old demographic wield enormous potential power over the election of representatives, but to realize that political voice they need to show up and vote. The right to vote is one that was hard fought and the best way to honor those efforts and preserve democratic values is to exercise one’s right to vote and not take the privilege of voting for granted.”
For further assistance or information on how to register to vote, contact Parshall at firstname.lastname@example.org.