Swarthmore Phoenix, Cami Brix:
Recognizing the importance of civic engagement and her responsibility as a Democracy Fellow with the Campus Vote Project, Richardson sought to engage more directly with student voters and joined several other students in forming SwatVotes this spring.
“I hope to make a difference on the campus and get as many students to register as possible and get as many students out to the polls or voting by mail as possible,” Richardson said.
SwatVotes Director Sam Winickoff ’23 described SwatVotes as a nonpartisan student organization dedicated to increasing voter education, registration, and turnout among Swarthmore students. This fall, SwatVotes has engaged with students both virtually and in-person through tabling events outside Sharples. Among their network of 33 students, Richardson aids in running their social media outreach and Winickoff runs weekly office hours to answer individual student questions about the voting process.
Winickoff hopes these direct, personal engagement methods effectively reach out to more of the student body.
“Rather than taking things from the 2000-foot view of administration, we’re able to meet students where they are,” Winickoff said. “We understand the mindset because we’re all students ourselves.”
Richardson and Winickoff have also found success in their text banking script, which helps guide peers and friends through their respective voting plans. Winickoff surmised that Swarthmore’s low voter turnout can largely be attributed to confusion about voting procedures.
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