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Campus-wide voter registration drive nets 4,200 forms

October 7, 2008 : Teresa Dunham

Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. often says Liberty University students are the best — and the results of his campus-wide campaign to register student voters locally is giving him one more reason to believe it.

As of Monday’s 4 p.m. registration deadline, LU Commuter Affairs officials had collected and submitted 4,200 forms to the Lynchburg, Va., city registrar.

“I’m proud of the students for stepping forward and registering and showing an interest in what’s happening in government. I think it’s a testament to how committed our students are to making a difference,” said Falwell Jr.

Falwell is still receiving several links to media coverage and message boards in his daily emails.

“The national press has taken a huge interest in this voter registration drive. I was listening to some of our students who were being interviewed on National Public Radio yesterday, and I was really proud of how well they did in answering questions from the national media,” he said.

Falwell is pictured on the CNN.com homepage today with an article about the campaign. CBS’s “The Early Show” filmed an interview last week at the Carter Glass Mansion scheduled to air today, and Falwell also participated in a 15-minute live interview on XM Radio’s POTUS Channel 130. The Washington Post and The Associated Press also featured articles on the voter registration drive.

Falwell first kicked off the campaign on Sept. 22, urging students to register and cast their ballots locally. Voter registration forms were distributed to on-campus students at hall meetings, and professors handed out forms to commuters.

He explained that students could make a greater impact together than if their votes were scattered across jurisdictions — and response was so vast that the university sent 20 student volunteers to help city workers process the paperwork.

To show its commitment to the voter campaign, LU is cancelling classes on Election Day and offering bus service to the polls. Two weeks ago, the Chancellor also sent out an email asking LU faculty and staff to vote.

“Liberty students have never been permitted to register locally in the past. The recent change in election law is giving Liberty University the chance to make history. Liberty University’s 11,000 students and 4,000 faculty and staff could cause Liberty to become known as the university that elected a president!” the email stated.

Putting the harvested registration forms into perspective, Falwell said the amount of newly registered student voters — combined with the approximately 2,000 students who were registered prior to the campaign — is higher than the total number of students who were attending LU six years ago.

“It is a large amount, but then again, Liberty students are the type that exceed expectations,” said Director of Commuter Affairs Larry Provost.