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Lack of Student Voting Turnout Disappoints “Voter Van”

Students+did+not+fill+out+the+gymnasium+for+%22Voter+Van%22.+
Students did not fill out the gymnasium for

Students did not fill out the gymnasium for "Voter Van".

Students did not fill out the gymnasium for "Voter Van".

Carmen Ballon, Feature Writer

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With the passing of election day, the university attempted to assist students with voting transportation. But, only one student used this service.

Tyler J Kalahar, Program Coordinator at the Center of Community Action & Research, started the “Voter Van” about fifteen years ago. This service transports students from Goldstein Fitness Center to a Briarcliff polling site, for students that have registered to vote at the campus address or chose to vote in the state of NY.

Prior to the election, e-mails were sent to the community, stating important dates about registration.

“Students who live in New York State while they are attending Pace University, and who are United States citizens, are eligible to register to vote at their New York State address (on or off campus), and be assigned to a New York State polling site, as long as they will have lived at that address a minimum of 30 days prior to an election,” said Dr. Lisa Bardill-Moscaritolo.

As well, the Center of Community Action & Research contacts students through OrgSync blasts, newsletters, university 101 presentations, and orientations.

“We always try to make note to all students that we offer this facility,” said Kalahar.

During primary elections, the “Voter Van” is offered at a more frequent service and driven by transportation. But, during off year elections, Kalahar dedicates his time to drive the van. “I work here, and I drive it, we can’t get enough people to collaborate with us. It’s important at least metaphorically do it. Off year elections are tough.”

While Tyler J. Kalahar was waiting for students to vote, he spoke of the urgency of young voter turnout.

“We are working right now to push people to vote. Especially first-year students to vote on-campus because they will be here for four years and feel the officials that are here while on-campus,” said Kalahar. “It’s kind of unavoidable at this point. This is not only an issue on college campuses, it’s a community issue too. People of different circumstances have trouble transporting to local polling sites.”

While students didn’t physically use the “Voter Van”, many have registered to vote through the Center of Community Action & Research.

“We had about 55 people who used the van last year, and 71 people are registered to vote on campus. But as a community, said Kalahar.” We are lucky that many people car pool, so we know that there are students willing to take their friends to the polls.”

Although, the “Voter Van” turnout was disappointing Kalahar continues to stay positive,

“We try really hard to make sure that we are on the ground as much as possible helping students. We have seen an increase difference with everything we have done this year,” he said.” We feel like we are starting to break in a little bit. I’m really excited about it.”

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