Keene State Provides Voter Registration and Transportation to Polls
During election years, Keene State College has a tradition of helping students register to vote and providing transportation to polling stations in Keene under an initiative called KSCVotes. It is all done in collaboration with Keene State’s American Democracy Project and volunteers from across the college. KSCVotes is one of the many ways Keene State fosters civic engagement with students. KSCVotes is also held in close collaboration with community groups and the City of Keene. This year the community effort continued, with added precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
KSCVotes began with voter registration and absentee ballot submission in October, during Voter Assemblies held on campus. These events resulted in 239 members of the college community submitting absentee ballots. The initiative helped students vote, took some pressure off of staff at the polls, and aimed to reduce wait time at Ward 1, where more than 1,000 Keene State students usually go to vote.
Marcia Kayser, a local resident and volunteer, said, “I participated in pre-processing of mail-in ballots, checking the presence of each signature and checking the name off our registered voter list for Ward 1. My partner in this project, and former ward moderator, commented at least five times that someone at the college has done a great job getting so many of the students to vote early. Keene State and its students are the best!”
On Election Day, November 3, Keene State provided shuttles to polling stations for students from the parking lot behind the Media Arts Center building on campus. In order to ride the shuttles, students needed to show the wristband indicating their participation in weekly COVID-19 testing provided by the college. More than 200 students rode the shuttles. Coinciding with the shuttles to polling stations, the American Democracy Project and KSCVotes hosted a voter information fair on campus. Overall, another successful KSCVotes program in 2020.