by Aaliyah Patel
On Sept. 21, the Rider Votes Team stood outside the Moore Library with a table dedicated to educating and sharing resources with students about voter registration.
The team focuses on bringing the Rider community together in a coordinated effort that promotes student engagement, registering 60 students so far in the upcoming presidential election.
In collaboration with the Rider Votes Team, this initiative is ran by the Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics, the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, The Leadership Development Program, The Office of Service and Civic Engagement, The Women’s Leadership Program, the Office of Sustainability Management, Greek Life and Student Involvement.
Joan Liptrot, director of service and civic engagement, explained the importance of establishing democracy for the future leaders of our country.
“The population of students at colleges and universities has diversified in the past 50 years but higher education institutions, including Rider, have continued their commitment to preparing students to be actively engaged citizens after they leave our university,” Liptrot said.
The Rider Votes team has been involved in a number of national initiatives including the “All In Democracy Challenge,” a program encouraging college campuses to increase student voting rates.
Scoring a Bronze and Silver Award in 2018, Rider University was named in Washington Monthly’s 2020 Best Colleges for Student Voting Honor Roll.
According to the article Voting in America: A Look at the 2016 Presidential Election, by Thom File, a sociologist in the U.S. Census Bureau’s Social, Economic, and Housing Statistics Division, the Current Population Survey (CPS) collects data on the entire U.S. population, including voting and registration.
“Citizens 65 years and older reported higher turnout (70.9%) than 45 to 64-year-olds (66.6%), 30 to 44-year-olds (58.7%) and 18 to 29-year-olds (46.1%),” File said.
Rider students have demonstrated a higher voter turnout rate than the national average.
Liptrot said, “Since we started the Rider Votes initiative, we have seen an increase in student voter participation.”
Alex Long, a freshman undeclared major and member of Rider Votes, expressed the importance of voter education that is non-partisan.
“This week we are hosting Zoom calls to present different websites that people can use to get more information about the candidates on their states upcoming ballots. In these presentations, we are also providing websites that have compiled quotes from each candidate and fact check them,” Long said.
The Office of Service and Civic Engagement is hosting Vote Ready information sessions that are open to all students and faculty members on BroncNation.
Published in the 10/7/20 issue of The Rider News