BC Welcomes Voters

An early voting sign placed in front of the West Quad at Brooklyn College./Kate Dempsey

By Shlomie Katash (Reporting Assistance By Serin Sarsour)


   As we inch closer to Election Day 2023, Brooklyn College has announced that its campus, alongside 13 other CUNYs, will be home to early voting and election day polling sites for voters in the area.

   On Nov. 7, New York City will hold various elections for local government officials, including City Council positions, district attorneys, and several civil court judgeships. Additionally, the city will ask citizens to vote on two proposals to amend the NYS Constitution.

   Brooklyn College opened early voting sites on Oct. 28 in the West Quad and will have an official polling location in Roosevelt Hall on Election Day. Those who live in the area may be eligible to vote on campus if the address they registered to vote with is close enough.

   In 2022, New York established a law that any university with over 300 students attending must have a nearby polling site available for voters. Since then, BC’s New York Public Interest Group (NYPIRG) has worked to set these sites up, including by training students to become volunteer poll workers and advocate for making voting easier for students.

   In addition to NYPIRG, the CUNY administration has had similar goals to get students more politically involved.

   “We embrace CUNY’s responsibility to foster civic engagement, a role that is consistent with our University’s longstanding commitment to helping shape New York’s future leaders,” wrote CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez in a CUNY-wide press release. “Our colleges are host to more than just classes for students, and we hope that New Yorkers are reminded of the many resources available to their communities on our campuses as they stop by to help decide who will lead our city in 2024.”

   To that end, CUNY has promoted student voting initiatives as a part of CUNY Votes, a non-partisan effort to increase students’ voter participation, registration, and awareness by utilizing external partnerships and on-campus activities and campaigns.

   Similarly, BC’s NYPIRG chapter has been pushing a “Democracy Campaign” that has worked every day for weeks to help students register to vote and educate themselves about the local voting process.

   “We believe it’s important to advocate for voting on campus because we have seen many states across the country pass laws to restrict students [from] voting on campus […] We believe in democracy, we believe that everyone should have the right to vote,” said Damien Andrade, a BC senior and the NYPIRG chair on the statewide Board of Directors. “This is why you have seen us across campus registering as many students to vote and also encouraging them to go out and vote on November 7.”

   As a result of these efforts, NYPIRG has registered over 800 BC students to vote, according to Andrade.

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