CHEYNEY, PA — With less than three weeks until the 2020 Presidential Election and less than four days to register to vote, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania officials have been working to get the student body registered and build enthusiasm about voting with various events on campus, while ensuring everyone’s safety in the midst of the pandemic.
The latest event was held Oct. 14 near the main campus dining hall and provided music, voter application forms and activities for students to express their reasons for voting this year. Through these events, over 100 students registered to vote for the first time with the help of Cheyney’s leadership team and local nonprofit organizations.
Cheyney President Aaron A. Walton and his wife, Dr. Gloria Walton, have been assisting students with filling out their registration forms. “As the first HBCU, Cheyney has always valued political and social engagement,” said President Walton. “Voting is one of the pillars of social and civic engagement. By voting, you are becoming part of the broader social and political process. Regardless of how you cast your vote, your voice will be heard.”
The most recent event was held in conjunction with the “Shield the Vote” initiative, which is a non-partisan educational and awareness campaign to encourage voters to physically protect themselves at the polls by wearing a face shield along with their mask in the 2020 Elections. Shield the Vote and its partners, Verizon and Acushield, launched this historic campaign to distribute donated face shields around the country to help voters protect themselves as they go to the polls. The face shields were provided to students who registered to vote at the event.
“For over 18 years, I have been at the forefront of analyzing voter trends and needs,” said Shield the Vote Founder, Onida Coward Mayers. “Citizens should not have to decide between their health and exercising their constitutional right to vote.”
Shield the Vote is distributing the donated shields to empower voters to “gear up” and go to the polls to vote. Anyone can donate face shields through www.shieldthevote.com and select if they want shields for themselves or if they prefer them to be donated. Donated shields are then shipped to organizations that agree to distribute them in their communities at non-partisan events.
“Many of our students will be voting for the first time,” said Irma I. Aguirre, executive director of student affairs. “We wanted to make registration easy, but more importantly to emphasize how important it is for them to exercise their rights.”
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