Polling location could potentially come to USI

Rhonda Wheeler, News Editor

When Anna Ardelean decided that the university needed a voting poll on campus, she set out on a mission that has taken almost a year so far.

“The goal is that students would be able to vote somewhere on campus rather than driving home on a Tuesday, or messing with absentee ballots, which have a lot of steps to them,” the sophomore political science major said.

Ardelean said that the process has been intense. 

She’s spoken with students to get their opinions on the matter. She’s currently in the process of polling students and surveying them to collect data on whether or not they would use the voting poll to support her project.

Ardelean has collected over 100 faculty signatures. 

“I basically just knocked on faculty doors, during their office hours, to collect signatures and explained the project,” she said.

She also collected 150 student signatures within the first two weeks of the fall semester.

After the signatures were collected, the proposal was presented to the university and was approved.

She said the project consisted of her making everything up as she went because it’s different for every situation.

“It’s been a labor of love,” she said.

Ardelean believes having a voting poll on campus is important.

“I am doing this project, not as the president of the College Democrats, but really as a student who’s concerned about the fact that we lack this location,” she said.

This would be a good step in getting a higher turnout rate for young people when the elections come around, according to Ardelean. She said she believes college students are disenfranchised.

“A lot of students are really apathetic,” she said. “And they think that because they’re young, that they don’t really matter, and they can really affect change. But that’s not true at all.”

Ardelean said the voting poll on campus wouldn’t just benefit the campus, but the community around as well, because there would be somewhere nearby for people to vote.

“We have the ability, we have the resources, why wouldn’t we want to benefit not only our campus community but the greater Evansville community as well?” She said.

She is now preparing to meet with the Vanderburgh County Elections Board to hear their concerns and take the next step in getting a voting poll on campus.

“Voting is your superpower,” Ardelean said.

In order to vote, people must have a photo ID. Indiana state IDs can be used because they have expiration dates on them, but Eagle Access Cards don’t have a date on them.

In an email sent to the Shield, Eagle Access Card Office Manager, Ryan Ewers, said the university is not currently looking into the idea of adding the expiration dates on the cards.

“This would cause an increase in the amount of cards that need to be printed and in turn cause an increase in the cost to the university,” he wrote. “The expiration of student IDs is managed through Transact software.”

When the card is in the system, whether it involves food service, laundry or printing, it runs through this system that then tells them if the card user is valid or not.

“The Eagle Access Student IDs are designed for on campus use thus making the need for expiration dates unnecessary,” Ewers wrote.