Boston Elections Division Takes Students Seriously

Poll workers at a polling place. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Note: This is an update to the article previously published in Issue 2, which can be read here.

Following Monday’s Student Union vote to move ahead with filing the complaints submitted by disgruntled voters, Student Union City Affairs Director James Boggie and Student Union representative Amy Mahler met with Elections Division Commissioners Geraldine Cuddyer, Shawn Burke, Martin Kain, and Alan Rooney on Wednesday.

The commissioners were very receptive to the complaints, Boggie said.

There were three main progress points that emerged from the conversation. First, the poll workers responsible for election code violations at Jackson Mann on September 14th were removed from their posts. Second, the Elections Division is expressed an eagerness to incorporate students into the elections process, and they invited students to apply to become poll workers at polling locations around BU (Interested? More information, as well as the application, can be found here). Currently, students at Suffolk University participate in ensuring accountability by becoming poll workers at their polling places, but one of the difficulties of extending this program to other campuses is the inability to recruit enough students.

Also, the Student Union will be housing resources and forms regarding voting procedure, election date and information, registration and polling locations to ensure that students have the necessary information on hand. Available resources include voter registration forms and absentee ballot request forms. These resources will be available in the Student Union office on the second floor of the GSU.

The discussion also defined the status of acceptable voter identification. Although commercial proof of residence (including magazine subscriptions, cell phone bills, and such) are acceptable forms of identification and are required for first-time voters or voters who have registered at a new address, the Student Union is working on a university-wide initiative to provide students with a university-sponsored document proving proof of residence that would be accepted at most government offices, including the RMV (Registry of Motor Vehicles).

One of our responsibilities as upright citizens is to ensure that the voting process is fair and that the rules are applied equally and consistently. If you notice something that seems out of procedure on election day, be sure to let the Elections Division know at (617) 635-3767. Let’s all pick up a little more slack and make sure that election code is enforced on November 2nd.

Important dates to remember: October 13th is the last day to register to vote in Massachusetts, and November 2nd is the date of the general election. To find voter registration forms or absentee ballots, click here or visit the Student Union office in the basement of the GSU.

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