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The Dickinsonian

The student news site of Dickinson College.

The Dickinsonian

The student news site of Dickinson College.

The Dickinsonian

Dickinson Hosts a Voter Registration Day Ahead of Upcoming Elections

This past Tuesday, students and faculty at Dickinson College took the lead in an enthusiastic turn to encourage and facilitate voter registration among eligible individuals ahead of the April primaries and November elections. The event, which was sponsored by Dickinson Votes and coordinated by a coalition of the Center for Civic Learning and Action (CCLA), sought to leverage the influence of youth participation and promote the voices of students in the world of politics. 

The registration station which was held at the Dickinson’s Holland Union Building,(HUB) with their colorful banners and catchy slogans, quickly turned into a center of activity, pulling in students and sparking discussions about the importance of political participation. “We engage in classroom education and we communicate and provide access to voters and registration,” said Maddy Marchese ’26, a volunteer and the Voters Engagement Coordinator for CCLA. 

“Students can vote, young people can vote, every American citizen can vote, it is the basic responsibility for Americans as it is the most fundamental way you express your voice by casting your ballot on election day,” said Erik Love, Professor of Sociology. “Get out there on election day,” he urged. “The next one is on April 23rd, right here in Pennsylvania, hope to see you there at the Bosler library, get involved and see the election take place.”

Throughout the time of registration, students could be seen eagerly filling out registration forms, engaging in discussions about pressing political issues, and taking advantage of resources provided by Dickinson Votes, CCLA and faculty. Volunteers were on hand to assist with registration procedures, answering questions, and offering guidance on absentee voting, polling locations, and voter rights.

“I didn’t want to register to vote due to the registration complication I faced last year and my lack of political alignment” remarked Tumi Olanrewaju ’24. “Events like this make it so convenient and motivating for people to register and vote”

In addition to voter registration, the occasion provided a forum for advocacy for politics and education. Throughout the course of the event, there were debates and lectures on matters such as ballot initiatives, and the significance of local elections. 

Dickinson College President John E. Jones III described a strong candidate as “somebody who understands the issues, who is accessible, who has a servant heart, who doesn’t duck questions of where the candidate stands on issues.” 

In recent years, Dickinson Votes has been known for registering hundreds of student voters. According to the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (from Tufts University), Dickinson College had the highest voter registration rate and the largest percentage of students voting in elections among all four-year residential institutions in Pennsylvania in 2020. 

“We achieved this thanks to the hard work of student, faculty, and staff volunteers who spoke with students throughout the academic year about voting,” said Professor Love. “This past Tuesday, for our Spring 2024 Voter Registration Day, we successfully registered dozens of new voters ahead of the April 23, 2024 primary election in Pennsylvania.”

According to organizers, the success of this past Tuesday voter registration event  serves as a reminder that every person’s decision to participate in the political process is what starts the change as election day approaches. Through collective action and unwavering dedication, the students of Dickinson College are paving the way for a more inclusive and brighter future.

“I would encourage students to vote in Carlisle because they live here most of the year,” said Sarah Niebler, a professor of Political Science “The issues and candidates students are voting for affects their everyday life.”



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