With Election Day here, the Center for Civic Engagement has seen a surge of students registering to vote. More than 300 students registered this year, about four times the usual amount, according to Adrienne Piazza, the manager of the CCE’s educational and leadership programs.
“I’m glad students are excited for the presidential election, but it’s also important to pay attention to local elections,” Piazza said. “Richmond’s elections will have candidates for the mayor, city council and school board, along with two constitutional amendments.”
The student-run website RVAGOV has information about local elections. The mayoral election is the most anticipated one, with five candidates campaigning: Joe Morrissey, Jack Berry, Michelle Mosby, Levar Stoney and Lawrence Williams. Additional information regarding each candidate can also be found here.
Brenden Carol, a senior who works as a CCE student coordinator, reiterated the significance of local elections.
“I think many students are focused on the presidential election, but we need to remember that local elections matter, too, because they impact our community,” Carol said.
In order to vote, students need to check their voting status before Election Day and will need to bring their voter registration cards along with some form of ID — for example, a driver’s license or a student ID. The university will provide shuttles to the polls on Election Day for student voters who registered with their campus address. Shuttles will depart from the Transportation Hub near Tyler Haynes Commons and will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Although the university is providing transportation, there isn’t an exact estimate of how many students will be taking the shuttles. Neither the College Republicans nor the Young Democrats will be providing mass transportation to the polls, but both groups have been encouraging students to find any mode of transportation to get out and vote.
Alex Keena, a political science professor, encouraged students to get to the polls.
“Although young people in particular vote at lower rates than older generations, they are a very powerful bloc of voters that can sway an election when they choose to participate,” Keena said.
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