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New on-campus voting precinct to open for its first presidential election

November 5, 2012 : By Drew Menard/Liberty University News Service

Members of Liberty's Student Leadership collected about 2,500 new voter registration forms at Convocation on Sept. 14 during an effort to promote student voting education and involvement.

For the first time on Tuesday, Liberty University students will have the opportunity to vote in a presidential election on their own campus. This is thanks to a new voting precinct, which was created in October 2011 and opened in the Vines Center in March 2012 after Lynchburg City Council decided to redraw voting lines.

Polls are open in the Vines Center 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. for Tuesday's election.

As the Nov. 6 election draws near, Liberty continues to go to great lengths to ensure its students are well informed — both on the voting process and the issues at stake — and are encouraged to properly register and to exercise their right.

Though Congressional Democrats made an effort this summer to remind institutions across the nation to assist in informing students and removing barriers, such as misinformation and inconvenience, that may discourage them from voting, Liberty was already several steps ahead.

The university has always been vocal to its student body about the importance of voting, but under Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr.’s leadership, more active measures have been taken to see student involvement increase. In 2008, Liberty made national headlines when it recruited about 4,000 students to vote in the commonwealth of Virginia.

This semester alone, Liberty has received more than 3,000 new voter registration forms and could expect to see upwards of 4,000 turn out at the polls Tuesday.

It is no surprise the city of Lynchburg has seen a 10-percent increase in registered voters since 2008.

The university’s student-run campus newspaper, “The Liberty Champion,” is committed to keeping students informed during this election season.

The paper has conducted interviews with major candidates, both Democrat and Republican, vying in Virginia for seats in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, presenting their stance on key issues. These included interviews with Senate hopefuls Tim Kaine (D) and George Allen (R); Virginia 5th Congressional District candidates Gen. John Douglass (D) and Robert Hurt (R); and 6th Congressional District runners Dr. Andy Schmookler (D) and Robert Goodlatte (R).

The Champion also presented questions to all five presidential candidates on the ballot in Virginia, of which only Republican nominee Mitt Romney and Constitutional Party candidate Virgil Goode responded. Though incumbent President Barack Obama (D) did not reply, his biography was published as a courtesy since he currently holds the office.

Read the candidates’ responses at www.libertychampion.com.

Liberty will host an election results party 8 p.m.- midnight Tuesday in the Towns Alumni Auditorium. The event will feature food, prizes, and live election coverage on a big screen.