Satellite Voting a BVU success according to Dr. Farmer-Hanson



Madeleine McCormick | News Editor

Buena Vista University hosted satellite voting for the upcoming presidential election on Oct. 13 in Estelle Siebens Science Center garnering attention from many first time voters, and community members alike. 198 people voted during the day beginning at 7:30 AM and ending at 5:30 PM.

Satellite Voting on campus was designed to allow easier access to civic engagement for students would otherwise be unable to vote on election day. BVU Student Senate members  attended a conference informing them about satellite voting on campus, and with the use of their newfound knowledge; it was a success.

Assistant Dean for Student Life and Director of Civic Engagement, Dr. Ashley Farmer-Hanson says the event was a perfect collaboration between the Office of Civic Engagement, Student Senate, College Democrats, and College Republicans:

“We were able to provide easy access to registering to vote and the option to vote on site. I heard a lot of students and community members mention how easy the process was and how kind the poll workers were when they needed assistance,” Farmer-Hanson said.

Farmer-Hanson says the goal of satellite voting was to help students exercise their political voice, and show the student body and community how simple the voting process really is.

Early-voters could walk into the science center on BVU campus, show their ID and a piece of mail showing their address in BV County, and within a few minutes and with an envelope in hand, walk over to the private voting booths set up to cast their ballot.

Fortunately for citizens registered to vote in BV County who have yet to do so, official election day is Nov. 8, and the process is entirely the same, according to Farmer-Hanson.

“Luckily, we live in a state that allows voter registration on the day of the election. Students who live on campus at BVU can take a government issued I.D [such as] an Iowa Driver’s license or state ID, U.S. Passport. If their ID doesn’t have a current Iowa address you must show a lease, utility bill, bank statement or paycheck with current address. They will go to Chautauqua park shelter and register and vote on site.,” Farmer-Hanson said.

Students who do not have any of these things, or are unsure are encouraged to contact Dr. Farmer-Hanson in the Office for Civic Engagement, and will be provided with one. She encourages all to get out and practice civic engagement by voting this election day:

“This is my favorite quote: ‘To make democracy work, we must be a nation of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.’ -Louis L’Amour. So MANY people gave up their lives for us to vote. Women and people of color have not always had the right to vote in our country. When I think globally, there are millions of people who do not have the right to vote,” Farmer-Hanson said.  “Our vote is our voice and that is a gift and with every gift we have to decide how we are going to use it when millions of people don’t have the right. It is our civic duty and it is what makes democracy work.”

Photo by Dee Friesen