For one day — Friday, Oct. 23 — Newman University will be an early voting location for the 2020 general election.
Students, staff and faculty who are registered to vote will be able to conveniently vote early on campus. The location is also open to all Sedgwick County registered voters.
The polls will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Sister Tarcisia Roths, ASC, Alumni Center, which is located on the second floor of the Dugan Library.
Joseph Shepard, director of multicultural engagement and Student Life, said that by having Newman participate as an early polling place, he hopes students will become more engaged and exercise their right to vote.
The location was approved by the Sedgwick County Election Commissions team, who conducted a walkthrough to ensure the space is ADA compliant and offers proper accommodations for physical distancing.
Voters must adhere to the Newman University guidelines outlined in its social contract, and CDC and Sedgwick County Health Department guidelines will be strictly enforced. This includes wearing a mask while on campus and staying physically distanced from other individuals.
Newman University will play its part in keeping voters safe as well. There will be designated entrance and exit doors. Masks and a sanitization station will be placed at the entrance and cotton swabs to act as stylists will be available for individuals to use at the electronic voting stations.
If a voter has requested a mail-in ballot, they will need to either mail that ballot back in or they can bring that mail-in ballot to the early voting site. Otherwise, they will have to vote with a provisional ballot, which they can do at the early voting sites.
“Many of our students are registered to vote but often find it difficult to do so between classes or even struggle to find transportation to the nearest polling location,” explained Shepard. “The same remains true for our faculty and staff. With Newman being an early voting site, we’re creating a space where members of our community can conveniently empower their voice by voting where they spend much of their time throughout the week.”
Shepard added that Newman University is located near many residential neighborhoods and creates accessibility for community voters.
The Student Life office will also hos an early morning tailgate experience filled with music, fun, food and more in hopes to energize and encourage students to vote.
“I want our students to witness firsthand how empowering it feels to vote and as the votes come in on Nov. 3, I hope our students will feel as though their vote has made a difference in some way, shape or form.”
Anyone interested in volunteering Oct. 23 at the Newman University polling site should contact Shepard at (316) 942-4291, ext. 2250 or [email protected].