Washington State University campuses are hosting election hubs to help students and community members be more informed and engaged in the election process.
The WSU Pullman election hub will be open Nov. 7 from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Nov. 8 from 8 a.m. until polls close at 8 p.m. The hub will be located on the second floor of the Compton Union Building inside the Senior Ballroom.
WSU Tri-Cities student engagement hub will open from 8 a.m. – 8p.m. Nov. 8 in room 120 of the campus’ Consolidated Information Center.
Individuals who visit either hub will have the opportunity to check their voter registration or register to vote ahead of the Election Day deadline. Would-be voters can also print their ballots at these hubs and learn more information about local candidates and proposals.
To improve voting accessibility for college students, the Washington State Legislature passed the Opportunities Through Education Act in March of 2020. The law 10 created student engagement centers across the state and led to further hubs on WSU and other university campuses across the state.
This change, coupled with civic engagement efforts by WSU, coincided with a 21% increase in the student voting rate, from 52% of students voting in 2016 to 73% in 2020. That increase came in spite of the challenges posed operating voting hubs in the midst of the pandemic, said Ben Calabretta, interim director of WSU’s Center for Civic Engagement.
“We really want students to be leaders in their communities wherever they end up after college, but they can start now by participating in the elections process,” Calabretta said. “We want to build those habits and make sure students have the ability to use their voice with respect to their communities.”
Last month, WSU Vancouver was the site of a Floats for Voters event hosted by ASWSUV. The event provided an opportunity for students to meet political candidates, legislators and political organizers from across the state alongside root beer floats. The campus also has an election campus resources website with information for students, faculty and staff.
Washington voters can cast their votes in-person or by filling out ballots and dropping them off at designated drop boxes or simply by mailing them.
Several ballot drop boxes are located on WSU campuses:
- Outside the west entrance to the CUB on Terrell Mall
- The WSU Chinook Student Center
- At the student voting hub on the second floor of the CUB
- Inside the student parking lot located in front of CIC
- At the election hub located inside CIC
- South parking lot, accessed by entering campus from NE Salmon Creek Avenue and turning right at the first street
- On the Everett Community College campus in the parking lot near WSU Everett