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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    NYPIRG Rallies Voters for Midterms

    SBU’s branch of NYPIRG campaigned in recent weeks to get students to vote in Tuesday’s midterm elections. Scott Zotto, a NYPIRG project coordinator, said that the campaign was three-pronged. It involved the creation of a website weeks before the election, a rally on Monday, Nov. 6, and student support on the day of the election.

    On Tuesday, 560 SBU students voted in SAC ballroom B, according to Zotto. This fall, NYPIRG registered campus residents to vote there.

    The website, groups.myspace.com/candidateinformation, outlined the basic platforms of 37 candidates in 13 different races. NYPIRG tried to research every position in every candidate’s platform in an effort to not appear partisan by selectively including or omitting information; just in case, the designers of the website included the personal websites of each candidate. Matt Abrahams, a NYPIRG project coordinator, said it took a couple of days to compile all of the information for the website.

    ‘We don’t just want bodies in the booth,’ said Zotto about the creation of the website, ‘we want minds behind the lever.’

    The day before the election, a group of four NYPIRG members called over 1,000 voters that registered with NYPIRG, reminding them to vote, said Zotto. It took about six hours.

    Zotto said he came to the SBU at 6 a.m. on Tuesday to ensure the voting machines were set up properly. From 6:45 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., NYPIRG members chalked messages on blackboards in classrooms throughout the campus, reminding students to vote.

    During the day, NYPIRG had a table set up near SAC ballroom B. They had pamphlets from every candidate on the ballot, and information about the Board of Elections. They helped students who had issues with their identification, and helped commuters look up their voting location, and reminded students to vote.

    ‘I have to commend the voting site here,’ Zotto said. ‘Stony Brook is a student-friendly voting site.’ Zotto added that some SUNY schools make voting more difficult for students.

    Last Monday night, NYPIRG hosted an entertainment event featuring 12 performance acts. Between acts, NYPIRG members encouraged students to vote, and told students the history of voting in America.

    On Wednesday, Zotto and Abrahams said that Election Day at Stony Brook went smoothly, and that they were happy with the turnout.

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