Voter information stations will soon be available at residence hall desks


Guest columnist Tia Blansett shares her thoughts and experience with ISU’s Department of Residence

Mallory Tope

A new way for students to register to vote is coming soon to residence hall desks, greek life and various places around campus.

Civic Engagement Committee members, Taylor Blair and Sehba Faheem, a senior in biological systems engineering, created a new, simple and low-contact way for students to learn how to vote, register to vote and request a vote-by-mail ballot for this upcoming election. Voter stations will be located at residence hall desks, along with places around campus such as the Memorial Union and the library.

The station will have additional information on how to vote normally and further information on what to do if the university closes before November. The stations will be available early September until the election in November. All of the forms are self-mail and do not need any postage.

“The more people, the more visible voting is and the more accessible it is, the more students will vote,” Blair said.

Community advisors will be given a guide and will hold house meetings to inform residents living in dorms where the stations are located and how to use them.

“So many students live in dorms and a lot of young people don’t necessarily know voting laws and because voting is tied to residency, it just makes sense to put voting information where people live,” Blair said.

Mailers with information on voting and requesting a vote-by-mail ballot will be sent to apartments such as Frederiksen Court and University Village, Faheem said.

According to Faheem, many organizations on campus have tried to create something similar for students to have easy access to voter information and registration but have had roadblocks.

The project originally began in February but was placed on hold due to COVID-19, but Blair and Faheem worked over the summer to make the stations possible for this fall. The original plan was to have information about the stations given at move in, but due to COVID-19, the move-in process changed, Faheem said.

The Department of Residence, Catt Center, Voter Everywhere, League of Women Voters and the Story County auditor helped fund and finalize the information provided on the stations.

“Voting might get dicey for students if the university goes online and so I would recommend students really familiarize themself with the rules and register to vote early, request absentee and vote early, the earlier the better,” Blair said.