It’s Monday night, and it’s raining in Storrs. Weary candidates put the finishing touches on campaigns that have spanned months. The Registrar of Voters in Mansfield remain exponentially busy throughout the day, as they make final preparations before polls open. Connecticut waits for its new governor.
Elsewhere, University of Connecticut students and voters statewide are meticulously combing through candidate platforms, reviewing referendums and attempting to solidify their ballots. On-campus political organizations like UConn’s College Democrats say these final preparations are vital to the outcome of Election Day.
“We’re planning on handing out literature on all the Democratic candidates and raising as much awareness as possible,” said Steph Goebel, president of the University of Connecticut College Democrats. “We’ve partnered with the unions on campus to get buses for students from Fairfield Way that will take them to the polling location.”
This midterm election, Goebel said, from the Gubernatorial race to the contested state senate and house seats, will play an important role in pointing Connecticut in the right direction.
“I think I speak for everyone in the club (College Democrats) when I say that this election is one of the most crucial midterm elections we will experience in our lifetimes,” Goebel said. “Those of us who can vote should vote because every race on the ballot matters.”
According to the most recent election poll by Quinnipiac University Poll, Democrat Ned Lamont holds a narrow four-point lead on Republican Bob Stefanowski in the Gubernatorial race.
“We’ve been all over the place these past few days working on the ground for many candidates, whether it be knocking on doors or making phone calls to potential supporters,” Turgeon said.
Turgeon added that young voters will play an important role at the polls, and urges those able to vote to make sure they make the most of their opportunity.
“Millennials are now the largest voting block,” Turgeon said. “So we have an important responsibility to got out and make our voices heard, because it is our future at stake.”
One of the key players in assisting UConn students in the registration process has been UConnPIRG. Emily O’Hara, vice chair of the Storrs chapter of UConnPIRG, said UConnPIRG has been hard at work registering students during a multitude of on-campus events. The organization has been tabling and hosting events, such as the Ballot Block Party, to encourage students to register for Tuesday.
“In our final preparation, we held a table in the Union where students could make a plan to get to the polls, learn more about Election Day registration and get a free Husky Vote t-shirt,” O’Hara said. “We wanted to give students the opportunity to get their Election Day questions answered and avoid any day-of confusion.”
O’Hara said UConnPIRG released their final promotional UCTV promotional video, featuring Jonathan the Husky, urging students to vote and to stop by UConnPIRG’s ‘#VoteTogether Party at the Polls.’
Caroline Redding, Registrar of Voting for the Town of Mansfield, said registration will be available on Election Day, as Connecticut is an Election Day Registration state.
“Students who are not registered can register at the Mansfield Town Hall in person or online on Election Day, beginning at 6:00 a.m.,” Redding said. “To register to vote the same day you will be asked to provide identification and proof of address in Mansfield.”
O’Hara also stressed the importance of mobilizing student voters and ensuring they are heard on Election Day.
“In my opinion, it's important for young people to get to the polls,” O’Hara said. “Because our issues matter, our voices determine the future, so why shouldn't we use them in the democratic process to make change today?”
George J Penny III is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.