The Committee for Political Engagement (CPE) hosted a vote-by-mail event Feb. 7 in order to inform students of their voting options. 

Annette Ramos, a representative from the Monroe County Board of Elections, spoke to students about the importance of voting, how they could register to vote, and how to receive mail-in ballots.

The last day for the New York State Board of Elections to receive an application for absentee ballots by mail for the primary elections is June 15. The last day to receive them for the general presidential elections is Oct. 26. These dates vary depending on which state you are registered to vote in.

While presidential elections are important, Ramos wants students to know that being civically engaged in your district can make the largest impact during municipal and midterm elections.

“We want [UR students] to be civically engaged in our city, in our town, and in the district that they’re living in,” Ramos said. 

CPE Chair Payge Vukelic agreed. “Midterm elections, local elections, are the most important,” he said, “because that’s when students here can actually really use their voice.” 

Bridging the gap between awareness and action, the CPE also emphasizes the vital role students can play beyond just casting their votes.

Students can also get involved in the voting process by becoming a county poll worker. On presidential election days, poll workers get paid $270 a day, with additional pay for Spanish interpreters.

In order to make the voting experience as easy as possible for students and local community members, Ramos and CPE have been for the last three years working with Glenn Cerosaletti, the director of the Center for Community Engagement, to bring accessible voting machines to campus. Because the University is situated in the 19th Ward’s voting district, these machines would benefit not only students, but everyone in the district’s bounds. 

While the implementation of these voting machines is in progress, Ramos and Vukelic remain committed to ensuring maximum voter turnout among UR students.

“Students don’t always realize how important their voice and their vote can be,” Vukelic observed, stressing that every vote counts.

CPE’s list of future voting events can be found on Instagram @ur_cpe

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