Correction: The graphic for this article incorrectly stated the polling times as from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. It has been changed to show the correct polling times in New York State: from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
To help get Cornellians to the polls to vote in Tuesday’s U.S. midterm elections, Cornell Outdoor Education and the Cornell Public Service Center will be providing shuttles to transport Cornell community members to polling locations.
The shuttles are free of charge and will run from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. every 15 to 20 minutes on Tuesday. The vans will stop at locations on North Campus, West Campus, Central Campus and in Collegetown to drive individuals to the five off-campus polling locations — Belle Sherman School Annex, the Tompkins-Seneca-Tioga Board of Cooperative Educational Services, the First Congregational Church, St. Luke Lutheran Church and Fall Creek School.
The one on-campus polling location that serves residents who live on campus, Alice Cook House, is not included in the route.
Specific route stops, as well as which polling places serve which campus residential buildings, can be found on the Public Service Center website. The Public Service Center is helping to organize the shuttles in partnership with the Andrew Goodman Foundation.
This is the first time that the PSC has organized Election Day shuttles, according to Amy K. Somchanhmavong, associate director of service-learning and partnership at the Public Service Center.
According to Somchanhmavong, many different organizations, student ambassadors from the Andrew Goodman Foundation and residential dorms have taken extensive steps to make sure students were registered to vote. Therefore, she said, the PSC and COE were trying to think of ways to make it more accessible for students who registered to go out and vote.
“On campus, transportation is a huge issue, and we want more students to go out and vote,” Somchanhmavong told The Sun.
“Some of the polling locations such as the elementary schools are at a distance and it’s hard for the students living on campus to get to them,” she added.
A previous study showed that turnout rate for midterm elections of Cornell students are relatively low, at around nine percent. Somchanhmavong hopes that election services such as these will increase the voter turnout and encourage students to vote.
“Voter turnout has a tremendous impact on any elections, especially this one,” she said.
Somchanhmavong encouraged students to utilize these election shuttles, as they are free of charge, and she emphasized the importance of voting and that every student deserves a voice to make an impact on a national scale.