MTSU is turning the 2018 midterm elections into a full-fledged celebration of democracy.
Food and music will be part of the “Party at the Polls” Tuesday, Nov. 6, a #VoteTogether election-day event from 3 to 7 p.m. at Central Magnet School, 701 E. Main St. in Murfreesboro.
Groups will gather to walk from the MTSU campus north to Central Magnet School, which is also a polling place for Rutherford County residents. They will leave at 3 p.m. from the John Bragg Media and Entertainment Building and at 4 p.m. from the blue horseshoe in Walnut Grove near Peck Hall.
Tuesday should be perfect voting weather; forecasts call for partly sunny skies and highs in the upper 60s. Organizers are urging MTSU participants to bring their state- or federal-government-issued photo IDs and to share their experience on social media with the hashtags #VoteTogether and #MTSUVotes.
MTSU also has arranged free rides to Central Magnet via Uber. Users who need a lift can choose “payment” on the app menu on their cell phones, scroll down to “promotions,” tap “Add Promo Code/Gift Code,” enter the “EARLYVOTE2018” code and tap “Add.”
Free popcorn will be available, and Daniel Green, director of MTSU’s Office of Intercultural and Diversity Affairs, will deejay the event. Several food trucks also will offer tasty treats for sale on-site.
MTSU’s American Democracy Project is sponsoring the “Party at the Polls” in partnership with CivicTN, the Campus Election Engagement Project, Civic Nation and Students Learn Students Vote.
The American Democracy Project for Civic Engagement at MTSU, with help from the Rutherford County Election Commission, reported when Tennessee’s voter registration period ended Oct. 9 that the university registered at least 1,070 new student voters in 2018.
In June, MTSU introduced its “True Blue Voter Initiative,” a partnership with the county election commission to help students register to vote in Rutherford County elections or register to vote by absentee ballot in any of Tennessee’s 94 other counties.
“Working with our community partners and not-for-profit partners at the local, state and national levels, we have observed a level of enthusiasm and engagement we trust will prove to be unsurpassed at MTSU for an interim election,” said Dr. Mary Evins, ADP coordinator and an associate professor of history at the university.
MTSU students, faculty, staff and visitors who are registered Rutherford County voters and want to cast their official ballots during the “Party at the Polls” can do so at Central Magnet. Rutherford County voters are no longer assigned a mandatory polling location on election day and can vote at any of the county’s 28 locations most convenient to their work, school or travel.
For more information, contact Evins at 615-904-8241 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the American Democracy Project website at www.mtsu.edu/amerdem.
— Gina Logue (email@example.com)