SENECA FALLS, NY – An exhibition of posters created by upstate New York designers urging residents to get out to the polls and vote this November opens on Monday (October 24) in the Wesleyan Chapel at the Women’s Rights National Historical Park at 136 Falls St., Seneca Falls.
The poster exhibition is organized by the Upstate New York chapter of AIGA, the professional association for design, as part of a national non-partisan Get Out the Vote initiative.
A panel discussion, Populating the Polls: Then and Now, will kick off the exhibition at 5:30 p.m. on October 24.
Dr. Allison Rank, assistant professor of Political Science at SUNY Oswego is one of the three speakers on the panel.
The panel will explore the history of suffrage, contemporary hurdles at the polls and the visual culture of suffrage and voting to provide context for the exhibition.
In an election that is emotionally charged, organizers are committed to “offering voters an opportunity to participate in a non-partisan conversation about voting and suffrage in the context of the exhibition in a safe and respectful environment.”
Populating the Polls: Then and Now will provide multiple perspectives on voting and suffrage followed by a question and answer session between the panelists and the audience.
The panel discussion and exhibition are both free and open to the public.
The exhibition will close on November 30.
Upstate New York residents, especially communities along the Erie Canal, have played an important role in the history of suffrage and voting rights in New York and the United States.
Exhibiting posters about exercising the right to vote in the Wesleyan chapel, the site of the first Women’s Rights Convention in 1848, is a reminder of our rich local history and the responsibility each of us has to honor the past and contribute to the future of our communities.
The exhibition includes posters by Paiige Hart and Rebecca Mushtare (of Oswego) as well as nearly three dozen other Upstate New York designers.
Posters in the exhibition can be downloaded, shared and printed from http://aiga.org/vote.
Dr. Rank has been busy on campus making sure SUNY Oswego students are registered to vote.
She said the last day for students to register was October 14.
The Vote Oswego program ended the voter registration phase of the campaign having submitted 1,054 voter registration forms to Board of Elections all over the state of New York.
“We have also collected and mailed 1,583 absentee ballot requests from students. Ultimately, Vote Oswego collected 2,637 forms this fall,” she told Oswego County Today. “We’ve doubled the number of forms collected by the campus efforts in 2012 – approximately 1,300 according to an article in the Oswegonian (the college’s student run newspaper).”
She didn’t have “hard numbers” currently on how many students registered to vote at a location that suggests they will vote with an absentee ballot as opposed to registering at their campus, she said, adding they should have those numbers figured out in about a week.
“Anecdotally, however, conversations with students, the number of absentee ballot requests collected, and the amount of forms we have mailed to other counties support the claim that most of our students vote with absentee ballots,” she said. “In fact, based on our belief that the absentee ballot population is large at SUNY Oswego, we’re working with the Community Services Office on campus to plan an ‘Absentee Ballott Collection Party.’”
The party, which will take place on Nov. 2 from 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., will provide a festive, fun environment for students to come submit their absentee ballot.
While they’re still nailing down final details, the plan is to have a number of Election Day photo booth props, refreshments, I vote stickers, as well as a mock poll booth where students will submit their ballots.
“Our goal is to encourage students to submit their ballots by providing a central location and a fun atmosphere in which to do so. Vote Oswego staff and volunteers will be phone banking students who requested absentee ballots with us to invite them to that event,” Dr. Rank said.