There’s a lot to get done between the hours between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Tuesday. The Penn community is determined not to waste any of these hours.
Political groups on campus are making a final push in campaigning for their parties and get-out-the-vote efforts.
College Republicans will be out on Locust Walk encouraging students to vote for Republican nominee Mitt Romney and will promote their message through email and social media, according to College Republicans political director and College sophomore Anthony Cruz.
In addition to manning Locust Walk, College Republicans have decorated campus with posters supporting Romney.
“We really want to make our presence known,” Cruz said. “Penn Dems are known on campus, and if we were to put signs all over campus and show that it’s okay to be a Romney supporter, that would be great.”
On the Democratic side, Penn Democrats kicked off its final efforts with former President Bill Clinton’s rally at the Palestra last night.
“We really view this as an integral part of our get-out-the-vote efforts,” College senior and Penn Dems volunteer coordinator Stephen Fritz said. “Having a headliner coming to this event — coming to Penn and using that as a culmination.”
After Clinton’s rally, members of Penn Dems headed over to Obama’s field office at 40th and Market streets to do last minute phone canvassing.
Others on campus will be directing students to one of the eight on-campus polling locations. Penn Leads the Vote — a nonpartisan get-out-the-vote student group — will host information booths around campus from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
PLTV members will also be spread throughout polling locations to staff the polls, explain the process to first-time voters and keep records. At around 4:30 p.m., PLTV members will gather in their “war room” in Fox Leadership Hall and begin making last minute calls to remind students who haven’t voted yet.
As long as voters are in line by 8 p.m., they are eligible to vote.
While PLTV will be convincing students to vote, Penn for Liberty will be doing the opposite.
“We hope to bring attention to the greater problem to our democratic process that honestly, right now, your vote doesn’t matter,” College freshman Zachary Slayback said. “If you want to actually effect real change, you ought to devote your time somewhere else.”
According to Slayback, Penn for Liberty wants to encourage students to think about alternatives to voting, whether it be voting for a third-party candidate or abstaining.
“I think voting for a third party is one of the ways to show that your vote does matter,” Slayback said. “It’s a protest vote.”
The Office of Government and Community Affairs will be making sure things go as planned.
The OGCA works behind the scenes to bridge the gap between Philadelphia’s city commissioner office and Penn’s campus. The office supports the efforts of PLTV to encourage strong voter turnout, according to OGCA Director Dawn Deitch.
A few OGCA staff are roaming around polls to serve as support and make sure the day runs smoothly. People are also being directed to the OGCA if they have problems with their registrations.
Deitch has been impressed by the amount of student involvement this year. “They’ve put in a lot of thought on how to motivate younger voters to have a voice in this election,” she said. “It’s to Penn’s credit as an actively engaged campus. All this hard work heightens our reputation.”
Staff Writer Alex Zimmermann contributed reporting.
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