September 26, 2008 : By Michael Claybaugh - Office of Communications & Public Engagement
Photo caption: Melissa Keiser, assistant to the director of Commuter Affairs at Liberty University, sorts some of the voter registration forms submitted by Liberty University students in her Campus North office Wednesday.
Liberty University’s campus-wide campaign to register student voters locally has sparked such a vast response that LU called in reinforcements to help count the submitted forms.
According to Larry Provost, LU’s director of commuter affairs, 20 students stepped up to help city workers process the more than 3,200 submitted registration forms.
Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. kicked off the voter registration 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 in classes.
Falwell told students that besides it being more convenient for them, voting in Lynchburg as a group will have a “much bigger impact than if your votes are just scattered across many different jurisdictions.”
“Local elections directly affect the amount of tuition you pay here at Liberty more than you realize,” he said.
To show its commitment to the voter campaign, LU is cancelling classes on Election Day and offering bus service to the polls. Last week, 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.
LU’s politically forward actions are resonating on the national scale, with media outlets such as The Washington Post and The Associated Press both featuring stories on the endeavor.