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Voting simulator familiarizes students

With midterm elections approaching, students will have the opportunity to test out their vote through the first ever Living Learning Community (LLC) Voting Simulator.

Coming to campus Oct. 2, the simulator will provide information about voter registration and the voting process, and offer information on the candidates that will be on the ballot in November. 

This event will be held from 6-8 p.m. on the first floor of Ward Hall.

Students will use iPads to learn about the candidates for governor, senate, and the district 7 U.S. House of Representatives.

The event will focus on these positions because these candidates “generate the most publicity and have the most recognition and power among all of the races,” said Frances Asbury (‘19), a coordinator of the Democracy Project, which is co-hosting the event.

“The main purpose is to demystify the experience, and students can expect to leave with more confidence in the process, and a better idea of the candidates and issues at hand,” Asbury said.

The simulation is a team effort from the Democracy Project, the Office of Residential Life of Explorations, and the LLC to inform first-year students at Rollins, who are likely new to the voting process, about which candidates are running in the November midterm elections and how to participate in the democratic process. 

Asbury and Skylar Knight (‘19), fellow coordinator of the Democracy Project, credited Luisa De Guzman, assistant director of Residential Life and Explorations and the LLC coordinator at Rollins; and Dr. MacKenzie Moon Ryan, faculty director of the LLC program, for being instrumental in organizing the event.

De Guzman enthusiastically attested to the significance of this event, as it is the first time in a while that all three organizations will be collaborating with one another.  

There will also be resources provided to help teach students about the voting process, such as sample ballots. Knight said, “Students will learn about accepted forms of identification, general layout of the ballots, and the candidates and amendments on the ballot.” 

The voter registration deadline for the Florida November election is Oct. 9, and De Guzman said that there will also be members from the Democracy Project at the event to help students register to vote.

Asbury explained that this event is different from the other monthly voter registration drives hosted by the Democracy Project because the primary goal of a registration drive “is to register as many students as possible,” whereas the goal for the LLC Voting Simulation is to “educate first-years, who may be more unfamiliar with Florida politics, and who probably have not voted in a national election before, in the voting process as well as the candidates and amendments up for election.”

Knight added that the voter registration drives allow for students to be “equipped with the means to vote,” but at the simulation students can continue to learn and be provided with the opportunity to “have a simulated experience of the actual voting process.”

If students want to register to vote at the LLC Voting Simulation, Asbury said that all they will need is a “valid Florida ID card or the last four digits of their social security card.” 

Asbury added that the LLC Voting Simulation event, like other Democracy Project events, is done in an attempt to “exceed the 40 percent mark,” which is the typical national turnout rate for midterm elections, and to “get half of eligible students to the polls on or before Election Day.” 

According to De Guzman, the LLC Voting Simulation will be a time filled with “snacks and celebration of the fact that we have this amazing privilege to vote for who is in office.”

Asbury mirrored De Guzman’s enthusiasm and said that everyone involved in the organization of the event “highly encourage[s] anyone who may have questions about voting, or any remote interest in the event to come join.” 

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