Election Day in November, polling sites in the five boroughs
are going to be even more densely populated by CUNY students
than usual. Not only will thousands of newly registered student
voters, reached through the Universitys well- established
Project Vote initiative, be pulling the levers, but there
will also be well over 1,000 students working as official,
paid poll workers in the primary, run-off, and general elections
(and thanks to recent State legislation, earning as much as
Anticipating a shortage of about 4,000 poll workers in the
September and November elections, the Board of Elections in
the spring called on CUNY for help in filling these positions.
It was hoped that an intense period of recruitment over the
summerorganized by the Office of University Relations
and special poll-worker coordinators appointed by college
presidents (and assisted by many Project Vote staffers)might
yield 1,000 students. However, in the end 1,600 potential
poll workers signed up for July/August training sessions.
here are students attending a poll working training session
held at New York City Technical College this summer. They
are with Board of Elections trainer, Amelia Smith-Parker,
center, and Board employee Harold Williams, second from
right. Photo, Michele Forsten.
July press conference, City Councilman A. Gifford Miller,
who proposed this massive CUNY/Board of Elections collaboration,
said, I am thrilled that CUNY can make a difference
in the coming election by adding well over 1,000 student poll
workers. It is a great experience for them and will boost
our election worker base.
Chancellor Matthew Goldstein remarked on the longstanding
tradition of encouraging voter registration, enfranchisement,
and participation in the electoral process. I am pleased CUNY
students are once again leaders in civic involvement.
Goldstein also asked campus leaders and teachers to help accommodate
these students in fulfilling their commitment to the electoral
Votes participation in the recruitment
push exemplifies the Universitys long-standing commitment
to voter participation. The Project, active on every CUNY
campus since 1987, is responsible for registering more voters
than any other New York City agency (approximately 60% of
new registrants in recent years), and in fact since 1995 has
been mandated by State election law to distribute voter registration
Among the active supporters of this new CUNY program are the
Citizens Union, the New York Public Interest Research Group
(NYPIRG), and the University Student Senate.