Keene State Owls will be able to vote for the U.S. president right from their dorm rooms.
President Melinda Treadwell sent out an email to all students detailing voting opportunities on-campus for the upcoming November election. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the college is encouraging students to vote via absentee ballots to avoid long lines at the polls and reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
“Every four years we have the right granted to us by the Constitution to elect the President of the United States as well as state and local officials,” Treadwell said. “It is our responsibility as citizens and members of the Keene State College community to participate in this process and exercise our right to vote.”
Treadwell said Keene State is part of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities as well as part of the American Democracy Project for over 11 years. According to Treadwell, the American Democracy Project educates students, faculty and staff on how to engage in civic duty and on how to vote.
Treadwell added that the college has been trying to figure out “how do you vote during a pandemic?”
“We wanted to make sure the student’s interest was not lost,” Treadwell said. “Voting engagement has always been something we’ve been a part of. We have a civic obligation to vote and here’s how.”
The email sent out to students gave three options for voting in the election. The first option is for those planning to vote in Keene. Those students will first have to fill out an absentee ballot application and then on select dates students can go to the atrium in the student center to pick up their absentee ballot. Those who will also be registering to vote will be required to provide a driver’s license or photo ID with a date of birth and an address as well as proof of citizenship if they are not born in the United States. Students will then be able to submit ballots to the city clerk staff in the atrium
The second option tells students that are registered in a different city or state that they can request an absentee ballot from outside of Keene.
The third option is for students who plan on going to the voting polls in person. Like previous years, KSC will be providing rides to the polls. However, students who choose this option will be required to get tested and provide proof of a negative result prior to getting on transportation.
Students who have questions about voting can go to the City of Keene’s website here:
Or if students wish to speak with someone at Keene State they can contact Mark Gempler at firstname.lastname@example.org or Kim Schmidl-Gagne at email@example.com.
Hunter Oberst can be contacted at: