Election Day is coming to campus on Nov. 3 with polling booths that will be available on campus from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the Machuga Heights Multi-Purpose Room. There, students can stop by throughout the day and vote at their convenience.
This election will primarily focus on the New Jersey General Assembly, which makes decisions that have a big impact on college students, since its members can vote on legislation regarding tuition and loans.
“Most decisions which affect the University and students are done at the local level. If [students] come together under any candidate, they can make their voices heard,” said Brian McArdle, Coordinator of Civic and Voter Engagement. “Politicians are interested in who votes and their concerns. If Montclair State students can show they have political clout and muscle, we could see more attention when it comes to issues that affect the students on a local level.”
Executive Director of Residence Life, John Delate, said, “Voters have an even greater voice in local elections since overall turnout is lower, so students can have a positive effect in the shaping of each of these towns for the future.”
During the past few weeks, which included National Voter Registration Day on Sept. 22, Montclair State’s Civic and Voter Engagement was able to register roughly 1,000 students to vote. The department has also been focusing on educating students about the candidates, the importance of voting and what the presidential race is all about.
“Civic engagement is an important component of being part of the MSU community,” said Delate. “We have worked closely with CSI (Center for Student Involvement) to promote voter registration. TurboVote was utilized to incorporate technology into the voter registration process. The efforts were highly successful.”
Montclair State’s physical area extends into three towns (Montclair, Little Falls and Clifton) and two counties (Essex and Passaic). Students who live in on-campus buildings located in Little Falls which includes Blanton Hall, The Heights, The Village, Hawk Crossings and Sinatra Hall, will be able to vote at the Machuga Heights polling site.
Students who live in Freeman and Russ Halls, that are located in Montclair, can travel into town to vote, while students residing in Bohn Hall can travel to Clifton. Commuter students will have to locate the polling site in their own towns. All students also have the option of mailing in absentee ballots and can obtain assistance with doing so through TurboVote.