Bowdoin Votes, a nonpartisan get-out-the-vote effort on campus, held a Politics Fair yesterday in Smith Union in honor of National Voter Registration Day. Student artists, activists, and volunteers sat at tables and chatted with their peers about how to register to vote, send in an absentee ballot, or get involved in political causes on campus. Everyone in attendance had a stack of voter registration cards in front of them.
“Today our goal is to register and assist another two hundred voters,” said Emily Ruby ’19, who is the McKeen Center’s fellow for Bowdoin Votes. Since the effort officially launched in August, Bowdoin Votes has helped more than five hundred students either register to vote or send in absentee ballots to their home state, Ruby estimated.
Many of the Bowdoin students who have registered to vote have been opting to do so in Maine, Ruby said. “Maine is a cool state, it’s really easy to get involved politically,” she explained. “It feels like your vote really matters here.”
Bowdoin Votes has trained a number of students this semester to assist their peers to vote in any state, as well as point them to resources to get caught up on local, state, and national issues. Throughout the day yesterday, some of these volunteers were tabling at different spots around campus.
View this post on Instagram
What an incredible #NationalVoterRegistrationDay with #BowdoinVotes! Over 200 students registered or requested absentee ballots today! Many students also wrote postcards to representatives. If you missed out on today’s event, don’t worry! #BowdoinVotes will be around with the VoteMobile plenty more before Election Day. Congratulations to all newly registered voters and a huge thanks to all the campus groups that helped out today! #CampusTakeover
One of the tables at the Politics Fair had a spread of artful postcards spread on it, all made by Bowdoin Art Society students last week. The postcards were for students who wanted to send well-designed political notes to their representatives. Besides the Art Society, all of Bowdoin’s politically-oriented clubs were invited to participate, and those assembled reflected a variety of focal issues and perspectives.
Photos by Bob Handleman and Rebecca Goldfine