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Lasell Votes

April 13, 2020

Lasell Votes logoLasell Votes is a civic engagement initiative co-managed through Lasell University's Brennan Library and the Center for Community-Based Learning (CCBL). Under the leadership of CCBL Associate Director TD Byrd Hughes and Library Director Anna Sarneso, Lasell Votes has engaged undergraduate student volunteers to assist their peers with voter registration and absentee ballot submission in their home states.

Michael Woo '23 got involved with Lasell Votes in the fall as a way to increase voter turnout.

"I had prior experience working on a local municipal election last summer with a mayoral candidate. I learned how disengaged voters are at the local, state, and federal levels of our government," he says. "With Lasell Votes, I have the unique opportunity to be a resource for students and to give them the tools they need to participate in the voting process."

Hughes, Sarneso, Woo, and other Lasell Votes volunteers spent hours tabling outside of Valentine Dining Hall this fall to register voters and answer their questions. Hughes and Sarneso have also partnered with faculty to deliver presentations aimed at increasing student knowledge about elections and voting. 

Now, they have turned their efforts toward digital outreach as the academic year concludes online.

"We have continued to post about primary elections in each state, especially about changes to those dates," says Hughes. "We are also available to remotely assist students with registration and answer questions they may have."

The team posts multiple times a week on their Facebook and Instagram accounts. On Monday, April 20, they will host a virtual voter registration drive on Instagram.

"We will share Q&As on our Instagram story and highlight the resources we have available to get students registered," says Woo.

Through the end of the academic year, he hopes to "close the gaps in campus voter registration" and increase turnout rates.

"My hope for future civic engagement at Lasell is to have everyone invested in our governance, and to understand that they are the real change makers by using their vote as their voice in all elections," he says.