Support, events engage students in the election season

By Ashley A. Williams

Support, events engage students in the election season

By Ashley A. Williams
Early voting in Florida began this week and will last through Nov. 1. Here’s a rundown of everything students need to know about upcoming campus events, from the final debate watch party to transportation to the polls.

Millions of United States citizens already have cast their ballots ahead of election day, and millions more are expected to make their way to the polls as early voting continues. 

At the University of Miami, Get Out the Vote (GOTV)—a student-led initiative dedicated to promoting non-partisan civic participation—and the Butler Center for Service and Leadership will host several events to ensure students are involved in the political process. 

“Early voting in 2020 is a great way to prepare early,” said Andrew Wiemer, director of the Butler Center for Service and Leadership. “Our office and Get Out the Vote team want to ensure that students have a voter plan and are fully informed about everything on the ballot before they go cast their vote in this presidential election.”  

Albany Muria, president of GOTV, is encouraging all students at the University of Miami to exercise their right to early vote now through Nov. 1. If you have questions about the process, she recommends you follow the organization’s Instagram account, @umgotv, or reach out to a GOTV student ambassador.

“Our ambassadors have been posting on social media—that's been our biggest push right now since we’re unable to table on campus this semester,” said Muria, a senior majoring in public administration.

For students’ convenience, a shuttle service will run every 30 minutes from Stanford Circle to the Coral Gables Branch Library’s early-voting site on specific days. Sabrina Ullman, GOTV’s vice president of operations, said she is glad to be a part of an organization that supports students and promotes civic engagement.

“When I came to UM, it was the first time I was able to vote. I didn’t have a car and the shuttle service took me to the early-voting site,” said Ullman, who double majors in broadcast journalism and meteorology. “Now, here I am, voting for the last time as a UM student, and I’m taking the shuttle—it’s a bit nostalgic.”

The following are programs and efforts being hosted by the Butler Center for Service and Leadership and Get Out the Vote.

Shuttle Schedule

Need transportation to the polls? The shuttles will run every 30 minutes from Stanford Circle to the Coral Gables Branch Library early-voting site on the following days:

  • Saturday, Oct. 24 (National Vote Early Day), 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
  • Friday, Oct. 30, 12–6 p.m.
  • Saturday, Oct. 31, 1–6 p.m.
  • Sunday, Nov. 1, 11 a.m.– 6 p.m.

Watch the final Presidential Debate on the Foote University Green

The final debate watch party will be hosted on Thursday, Oct. 22, from  9–10:30 p.m. Gates open at 8:30 p.m.

The first 200 attendees will receive a giveaway.

Attendees at the debate watch party must follow the guidelines listed below.

  • Individuals will only be admitted with a valid Cane ID and C#.
  • Individuals will be required to physically distance in the large rings provided (four people maximum) and within the venue and in the lines.
  • Masks must be worn at all times.
  • Food will not be permitted inside the venue or in the entry line.
  • Wrist band provided at check-in must be worn at all times.  

Election Night Watch Party

Watch the election results roll in on Tuesday, Nov. 3 from 7–11 p.m. on the Intramural Fields. 

Attendees at the event must follow the guidelines.

  • Individuals will only be admitted with a valid Cane ID and C#.
  • Individuals will be required to physically distance in the large rings provided (four people maxium) and within the venue and in the lines.
  • Masks must be worn at all times.
  • Food will not be permitted inside the venue or in the entry line.
  • Wrist band provided at check-in must be worn at all times. 

Pledge to Vote Competition

The University of Miami is competing against all institutions in the country for the most collegiate voters. ’Canes are currently ranked number three. So, all students are encouraged to take the Pledge to Vote to help make the University of Miami No. 1 in the country for student voting.  

“Miami is always trying to be number one,” said Muria. “Whether in sports or pledging to vote. We take a lot of pride in civic engagement, so we really need our students to show that we’re the best in the nation.”