Vines Center prepares for student voting on election day
- Liberty students have the chance to make their voices heard for local and state issues when they vote on Nov. 7.
- Students hoping to cast their ballot for some of Virginia’s top positions this year can vote at the Vines Center from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Liberty University students will be voting in the Vines Center Tuesday, Nov. 7 as part of election for governor of Virginia.
Polling for registered Liberty students will open at the Vines Center at 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. Liberty will be providing pizza, snacks and drinks outside the Vines Center to anyone regardless of their participation.
Virginia is one of only two states that will be electing a governor, along with New Jersey.
The candidates up for election are Republican nominee Ed Gillespie, Democratic nominee Ralph Northam and Libertarian nominee Clifford Hyra.
The Vines Center represents the voting location of Liberty University’s own precinct.
Assistant Director of Programming for the Office of Student Life Morgan Hanson said the Vines Center precinct was added in 2012, and other college campuses that have their own voting precincts include Virginia Tech, University of Virginia and George Mason University.
Hanson said a few tips for students registering to vote is to make sure they update their voter registration card each time they move residence halls because their MSC Box number will change, for commuters to know where there polling location is, as it will be different from the on-campus location at the Vines Center, and to know to present their Flames Pass or voter card between the hours of 6 a.m. and 7 p.m.
Larry Provost, who has been registering Liberty student voters since 2008, said his advice is to get to the polls as early as possible so students can enjoy the rest of their day.
According to Provost, Liberty’s Vines Center precinct is the most active precinct within the city of Lynchburg.
“Liberty students are not just engaged in national issues, but they are engaged in state and local issues as well,” Provost said. “Our students set the standard for students around the country, and it’s pretty special and incredible to see.”
Hanson cited specific examples of the way that Liberty University students have affected previous local elections.
“Students involvement in previous elections has resulted in several policy changes, such as the food tax not increasing, the new pedestrian bridge across Wards Road and the new zoning classification Liberty received in 2015,” Hanson said.
Provost also emphasized how important it is for students to exercise their right to vote.
“By voting, they have a seat at the table with people that make decisions that affect their lives,” Provost said. “If they don’t make their voices heard in these decisions, then somebody else is going to do it for them. Liberty students are engaged and have a passionate, informed and compassionate voice. This is a voice that needs to be heard, and voting gives students a strong sense of civic participation.”