Walk 2 Vote party to kick off early voting drive at IU Bloomington
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Political and Civic Engagement program, known as PACE, and other Indiana University Bloomington campus sponsors will host a Walk 2 Vote celebration from noon to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 12, in Dunn Meadow on the IU campus.
The event is an opportunity for students to come together to celebrate voting. It will culminate in a parade west on Seventh Street to Monroe County Election Central, 401 W. Seventh St., on the first day of early voting in Indiana.
“This is an opportunity to empower students to exercise their right to vote, a right that women and African-Americans in this country struggled long and hard to obtain and to maintain," said Sandy Shapshay, director of PACE and associate professor of philosophy in the College of Arts and Sciences.
"Many students don’t know that 18-year-olds only got the right to vote in 1971, largely in response to the draft for the Vietnam War. With this history of struggle to obtain the franchise, the right to vote is not something to be taken lightly; it’s the most fundamental way to exercise one’s democratic power.”
The celebration will begin with a welcome from Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton. The event offers food provided by Traditions Catering, music played by DJ Good Peoples, interactive games and student group information.
Walk 2 Vote is a student-centered and student-planned initiative based on a national model being used at colleges and universities around the country. It is part of a larger initiative at IU Bloomington called the All In Campus Democracy Challenge, a national initiative created by Civic Nation. The challenge, to date, includes 194 campuses in 38 states and has enrolled more than 2.8 million students. Its aim is to recognize campuses for their commitment to improving democratic engagement, increasing student voter participation rates and graduating students with a lifelong commitment to being informed and active citizens.
The IU Bloomington All In Steering Committee, made up of students, faculty and staff, hopes to increase student voter turnout by about 10 percent to achieve a bronze recognition seal in the challenge.
The overall initiative also includes voter registration drives (voter registration ends today in Indiana), nonpartisan voter education and "Walking Wednesdays" at noon Oct. 19, Oct. 26 and Nov. 2, in which students will walk from Sample Gates to Election Central to vote. More information about local events is available online.
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