Today is Election Day, so grab some friends who are 18 and registered to vote and head to the polls to vote in the midterm elections. If you are registered to vote in a different state or district, make sure your absentee ballot has been mailed in. If not, the Mansfield Community Center is your place to go vote this year.
If you or any of your friends haven’t registered to vote in Mansfield yet, don’t worry! Connecticut is one of eleven states that offer same-day voter registration. If you’re planning to register on Election Day, make sure you’re over the age of 18 and haven’t sent in an absentee ballot. You must be completely registered and processed by the registrars by 8 p.m. to be able to vote that day. You can even submit all of the required information through Connecticut’s online voter registration when the system reopens on Election Day, and complete the final step in person at the front of the registration line at the Community Center. Bring identification that proves who you are and the physical address of where you live. You will also need your license or student ID.
Mansfield Community Center is located at 10 South Eagleville Road, Storrs-Mansfield, in Storrs Center. There’s plenty of ways to get there on Tuesday, so don’t let transportation be a reason you don’t vote. Buses run by UConnPIRG will be going from the Student Union to the polls all day, so catch a ride on one. If not, you can call an Uber and use the code “EARLYVOTE2018” for a free ride to the polls as well.
The polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the community center. As long as you are in line by 8 p.m. you’re good to go. They are known to be more busy in the early mornings (before classes), during lunchtime and later at night (when classes are finished). The better times to go vote would most likely be in the early afternoon or early evening if your schedule allows.
Make sure you’re an educated voter before you fill out your ballot. Check out ballotready.org for non-partisan information about all the candidates and positions in the area. The website even allows you to “add” candidates to your own personal ballot that you will able to email to yourself so you can access your compiled list before you vote. Read up on the candidate’s platforms on their websites online for more detailed information. You can also check out voter guides related to Connecticut on ethepeople.org. You don’t need to select a candidate for every office listed on the ballot, so make sure to educate yourself before you support or oppose them.
Celebrate your time voting with UConnPIRG and UConn Hillel’s “Party at the Polls” from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. today. They will be giving away free slices of cake and pizza, and UConnPIRG’s New Voter Project custom-made stickers and T-shirts. Join digital media and design student analysts at an Election Watch Party 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. in the SMACC, the Bishop Center room 135. They have been following major races across the country on social media and will monitor real-time data Tuesday night in order to see how social media reflects public opinion.
Don’t despair if the lines seem long—bring a friend, grab a slice of pizza and enjoy exercising your civil rights as you make a difference and vote.
Hollie Lao is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.