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Students, faculty voice opinions on voter registration

Voters will voice their opinions this November on issues gripping the country and world. From the war on terror to same sex marriages, from abortion to cloning, Americans will play a part in the course of these issues as to who will fill the Oval Office for the next four years. But before they can get through the door to vote, Americans, including Eastern students, must be registered.

“We encourage students to vote,” said Bettie Ann Brigham, vice president of student development.

“It is critically important for students to be aware of what the government is up to. Eastern students should have the privilege to use their voices,” she said.

According to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of State, a student can either register from his or her school or house residence.

The tricky part is if a student lives on campus but intends on returning home after graduation, he or she must register via absentee ballot. An application can be retrieved from the Department of State’s website at www.votespa.com. Students must qualify for a ballot first, and if approved, they will be sent a form to fill out and send back to the Delaware County board of elections.

The Pennsylvania application deadline is 5 p.m. on the Tuesday prior to election day on November 2.

Students registering apart from the absentee ballot can do so with ease by visiting www.rockthevote.com. In case students want to retrieve a registration form in person, they can go to any governmental agency, including PENNDOT photo license centers, the Office of Special Education and Armed Forces Recruitment Centers.

Eastern political science professors are hopeful that students will not only convey their opinions this election, but engage their educational careers with political issues.

“I would welcome the creation of an Eastern debate team,” said political science professor Paul Brink. “Something like this has the value of forcing students to think deeply about their political decisions, consider the issues, evaluate the positions and make a final and responsible decision,” Brink said

The furor for young voters to voice their opinions in politics seems to be catching on. According to a Philadelphia Inquirer article, “Voter Registration Requests Up,” the one million applications released just last month shows that demands for absentee ballots are skyrocketing.

In fact, the numbers are so high that registrations would surpass the near 200,000 from 1992, a turnout that showed 83 percent of Pennsylvania was voting, according to Bob Lee, voter registration administrator in Philadelphia.

According to the Federal Election Commission, students can meet one another at the voting polls from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on November 2. Places to vote include Radnor High School on King of Prussia Rd. and the Radnor Memorial Library on 110 W. Wayne Ave.

“Christians are called to be salt and light in all aspects of life, including the political realm,” said Dr. Kathy Lee, head of the political science department.

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