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The League of Women Voters prep students interested in voting

This story was originally published in the Oxford Observer.

Lured by the smell of pizza and cookies coming from the writing center in King Library, students took a stand for democracy by choosing to participate in a patriotic evening of bunting, red, white and blue, and voter education.

The League of Women Voters of Oxford partnered with the Howe Writing Center to “Take Action for Democracy” on Oct. 25. The first floor space hosted a casual meet and greet with a handful of tables scattered around the room, offering information on registering to vote, understanding the ballot, calling representatives and writing and submitting op-eds.

“It’s a nonpartisan event to try to get students and community members and faculty to be aware of what’s going on,” said Elizabeth Wardle, league co-president for voter service and director of the Howe Center. 

“Telling is not teaching,” Wardle said. “If you just tell people things they don’t learn, but if they actually interact and try something out then they’re more likely to learn.” 

Cameron Tiefenthaler, Miami senior and league member, helped students request absent

ee ballots. But, for students living in dorms, Tiefenthaler said this may not be the most reliable way to vote because their mail comes twice per week and requires a stamp. She advised students to call the mail package center if they are expecting to receive a ballot. 

Miami will hold classes on Election Day Nov. 7, which is another obstacle for students to vote.

The polling stations this year are at the Marcum Center and Kramer Elementary. Voters can find their assigned station on Butler County’s Board of Elections by plugging in their home address.

“It’s hard, logistically, if you are a student in Oxford who’s registered here, but you don’t have a car,” Tiefenthaler said. “Any extra hurdle is a hurdle that a student may not overcome to go vote.” 

She said everyone should vote to make their voices heard.  

“Local politics matter a lot more than the average person thinks,” Tiefenthaler said. “Sure the President has a lot of power, but it’s the decisions made at the local level that will have a greater impact on your life.” 

Miami juniors and Howe writing consultants Julia Beaumont and Sophie Kwiakowski, who ran the op-ed table, provided students with information about how to write and submit opinion columns to Ohio newspapers.

“A lot of students might not see themselves as writers, but they’re still passionate about some political discussions, having these resources available can maybe subliminally nudge them to take action,” said Kwaikowski. 

Early voting for the election runs until Nov. 5. Ohio residents can vote by mail or in-person at the Butler County Board of Elections office in Hamilton. Ohio voters planning to vote on election day must remember a valid ID.

They include: 

  • Ohio driver’s license;
  • State of Ohio ID card;
  • Interim ID form issued by the Ohio BMV;
  • A US passport;
  • A US passport card;
  • US military ID card;
  • Ohio National Guard ID card; or
  • US Department of Veterans Affairs ID card