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Harrison, Trish hold voter registration marathon

jeff+li%0A+Students+register+others+to+vote+outside+of+the+Spencer+Grill+in+the+JRC.+
jeff li Students register others to vote outside of the Spencer Grill in the JRC.

By Candace Mettle
mettleca@grinnell.edu

Professor David Harrison, French, and Professor Barb Trish, Political Science, registered dozens of Grinnell students to vote at a non-partisan voter registration drive yesterday in the JRC. The duo hoped the drive would incentivize students to register early before Election Day, as well as check their registration status.

“A couple of things have made me think that it’s especially important to get registered in advance,” Trish said. “When you have a volume of new registrants, it makes [voting] a really hard process and for the people who are trying to run the contest.”

Trish also recommends registering early in order to bypass legal requirements enacted by the Iowa Secretary of State that may get in the way of casting a vote.

“I just thought in order to stay above problems on Election Day, let’s make it a big deal now.”

As Professor Trish is the head of the Program in Practical Political Education (PPPE) and the Political Science Department of the College, it seemed natural that she would organize this event. However, she attributes much of the planning process to Harrison.

“I mentioned [to Harrison] that I want to do something this year, he said he had been thinking about how the College really needed to do something [for the election], too. He has been the real energy behind [the voter registration drive],” Trish said.

jeff li  Students register others to vote outside of the Spencer Grill in the JRC.
jeff li
Students register others to vote outside of the Spencer Grill in the JRC.

For the students who do vote, Trish strongly encourages them to realize that there is even more to do.

“Political parties in the US — Democrat and Republican — have ongoing operations. The rules for 2020 are going to be battled out over the next three years or so. If you’re just going to check in for one contest, you’re subject to what somebody else decided to put in place [for 2020]. If you’re not sure if you want to vote in this election, when will you ever be sure?”

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