The Collegian
Monday, May 16, 2022

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CCE encourages voting, hosts viewing party

The University of Richmond's Center for Civic Engagement had buses shuttling students from campus to polling places all day Tuesday, in an attempt to give students a chance to cast their vote in the Virginia state elections.

The shuttles ran from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. to two polling places - Westhampton Baptist Church and Tuckahoe Elementary School - where students living on campus could vote, said Adrienne Piazza, coordinator of events and student outreach for the Center for Civic Engagement.

The programs and events the CCE used to get students informed and to the polls this year did not differ much from last year's presidential election, she said.

"In September, the [CCE] had a voter registration drive," Piazza said. "Students could register to vote in Virginia. We also had information about absentee ballots in their home state, and we turned those into the board of elections."

During the drive in September, about 20 students had the CCE turn their registration forms into the Virginia State Board of Elections so they would be registered to vote, she said.

Information about each candidate was posted in the CCE office, political columnist Jeff Shapiro of the Richmond Times-Dispatch spoke last Friday as part of the Brown Bag Lunch Series and there was a viewing party Tuesday night, she said.

"There were opportunities for students to get informed [about the election]," she said.

The student turnout and involvement was lower this year, senior Rasheed Nazeri, a member of Students for Obama, said.

"I do not think either one of the candidates did a good job of getting people out to the polls," he said. "The CCE has done a great job of putting together events, but the students were not as energized and enthusiastic this time around, partly because of a different election and partly because the campaigns did not reach out to them."

Grassroots campaigning was not done in this election and the Democrats missed an opportunity, Nazeri said.

"They missed out on all the grassroots organizations that were created last year," he said. "A lot of people are still really involved from U of R, and they are willing to help Democrats but sometimes all it takes is someone to ask."

Contact reporter Stephen Utz at stephen.utz@richmond.edu

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