UA students can vote to make Election Day a campus holiday

Kayla Solino | @kaylasolino, Staff Reporter

The Student Government Association Senate added a referendum vote to the homecoming ballot to make Election Day a UA holiday. 

The campus wide ballot, which students will use to elect a homecoming queen on Oct. 23, will also serve as the ballot for students to vote for or against making Election Day a UA holiday. 

The original resolution, presented by College of Arts and Sciences Senator John Dodd on Aug. 26, aimed to increase voting access for UA students. Alabama polling locations are open for 12 hours, which Dodd said can be limiting for students with busy schedules.

More than 57% of UA students are from out-of-state, and many out-of-state students rely on mail-in ballots to cast their votes.

“The SGA continues to support any initiative aimed at increasing civic engagement among students, whether at the campus, local, state or federal level,” SGA Press Secretary Olivia Davis said. 

Dodd said he hopes campus organizations will advocate for this referendum.

“Hopefully we can get together with other organizations to advocate this referendum and have all students see what we’re trying to do,” Dodd said. “And let them know that, not only do they have the availability to possibly get a day off of class in the near future, but to remove obstacles that keep members of their community from voting.”

Vote Everywhere UA’s President Alli Swann and Vice President Jack Kappelman were key in the resolution’s early stages. They gathered data and voiced their concerns to the senate in the Aug. 26 meeting. 

Out of 322 respondents, 97% said they support Election Day being a UA holiday and 89% of respondents said it would make voting easier for them. 

“It is our hope that this initiative will allow students ample opportunity to participate in the democratic system,” Davis said.