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Updated R-Cards bring convenience to the polls

Graphic by Trinidee Mercado

With the 2022 midterm election less than a week away, the Center for Leadership and Community Engagement (CLCE) has teamed up with Campus Safety to announce an improvement for Rollins voters: students, staff, and faculty can now obtain R-Cards with signature lines on the back to be used as photo IDs at the polls. 

Anyone seeking an updated card with the signature window on the back can get one for free by visiting the Campus Safety office and communicating that they wish to use it for the election. 

“So many eligible voters have tremendous difficulties voting, because of the rigid stipulations around proper identification with a photo ID and a signature to match their voter registration card,” said Meredith Hein, director for the CLCE. “We have seen many students over the years be turned away from the polls, because their identification matches their home state, rather than Florida.”

The CLCE and Campus Safety have been collaborating on this project over the past few years, and now, just in time for the Nov. 8 election, their work has come to fruition. The deadline for registration has passed for those who wish to change their voting district while at college, but those who are registered or wish to do so in the future will now face fewer obstacles. 

“Any U.S. citizen that is a student and resides on-campus can register or change their registration to Florida using their Rollins College campus address,” said Hein. “Many students don’t have state issued ID’s or driver’s licenses so having a college issued ID with a signature can be very helpful allowing students to vote and truly see the impact in their local, Winter Park, Orlando, Florida, and even Federal elections.”

Voter turnout notoriously falls for non-presidential elections, and NBC News polls from October indicate that young voters’ interest in the election is 9% lower than that of 2018. 

As stated by CBS News, the Nov. 8 election “could be the most consequential in years, possibly defying political history and resetting modern political norms.”

Thirty-six governors and 35 Senate seats will be determined this month, and all seats in the House of Representatives are on the market. The Senate is split evenly, and votes could potentially sway the chamber into the grasp of one political party or the other, in addition to influencing the management of the next presidential election. 

In a statement to the Sandspur, Hein shared the following from the Campus Vote Project, “Students face unique barriers to voting. One such barrier is the requirement to bring an accepted form of identification to cast a ballot.[1] Voter ID laws vary state by state, ranging from no voter ID requirement to strict photo ID requirements that only include certain types of ID that meet specific criteria.”

Questions regarding IDs, eligibility for out-of-state voters, fears of rejection at the polls, and registration requirements can often discourage citizens from participating in democracy by employing their constitutional right to vote. Together with Campus Safety, the CLCE is working to eliminate these blockades. 

Voting polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Nov. 8;  voters can identify their precinct location—as well as other information and requirements—prior to voting by visiting  

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