By Emily Leayman
Joe Scoboria, SGB president, not only wants to get students registered to vote but wants them to follow up by participating in Election Day. Like last year’s elections, however, voting for many students remains miles away from campus.
SGB will lead an approximately three mile walk to the voting location, the Maxatawny Township Building on 127 Quarry Road off Route 222. Students living on campus, on Kutztown Road near the Airport Diner and at the Edge vote at the township building, which lies on the edge of Maxatawny’s third precinct. Scoboria will dedicate most of the day helping students to the building with help from other SGB members.
The walk will include different student media recording videos and taking pictures to raise awareness about the location not being easily accessible by students. Kutztown University Radio will be posting up-to-date statuses on Facebook and groups like Electronic Media majors and The Keystone will join the walk.
“The biggest concern I’m really trying to [address] is safety,” said Scoboria.
Scoboria met with Paul Quinn, president of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties, to discuss student transportation to the polls. APSCUF is donating to SGB so they can provide one or two buses to the polling location. Scoboria said that he attended APSCUF meetings to ask for its support, and he said the union has been “very supportive of our efforts.”
SGB worked with the university last year to provide vans to the polling location, but this year, Scoboria wants buses in anticipation of a larger voter turnout. One bus would leave from south campus and the other from the SUB. He believes students care about the upcoming governor’s election because higher education is one of its top issues.
“Students at Kutztown University and the other 13 state schools have a very close tie with this governor election,” said Scoboria. “I feel like students need to become engaged; they need to research both candidates who are running for governor, and find the issues that are important to them. Higher education is very important to all of us.”
He estimates that over 200 students have registered to vote from the National Voter Registration Day event SGB coordinated with the Office of Student Involvement a few weeks ago. While the deadline for voter registration ended on Oct. 6, students can still submit absentee ballots by Oct. 28. Both Pennsylvania and out-of-state students can either change their voter registration addresses to Kutztown and vote in this precinct or request an absentee ballot from home.
The Berks County commissioners changed the third precinct polling location from Keystone Hall to the Maxatawny Township Building in August 2013.