Cal Poly Pomona plans to extend the number of days its voting center is open and provide an opportunity for the campus community to register to vote on site.
The extended voting days, which are from Saturday Feb. 29 to the presidential primary election on Tuesday, March 3, as well as the on-campus registration, align with a state law designed to make exercising the right to vote more convenient for California residents.
State lawmakers passed the California Voter’s Choice Act in 2016, which ushered in a new election model that allows voters to decide how, when and where to cast their ballot. To ensure that flexibility, election officials will mail every voter a ballot, expand in-person early voting and allowing voters to cast a ballot at any vote center within their county.
Cal Poly Pomona has long had a polling place on campus on election day, but this year will be different with the extended voting period. The campus community and the public at large will be able to cast their ballots at the voting center, which will be inside of Ursa Minor in the Bronco Student Center, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Feb. 29 to March 2. Election day hours are from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. (These hours may be extended due to do long lines as mandated by the California Elections Code.)
During the 2018 election, the line stretched down the hallway in the Bronco Student Center, with some waiting students ordering pizza, said ASI Vice President Rachel Hunter.
“We are hoping to minimize lines on voting days,” she said.
The voting center also will provide that flexibility to students, staff and faculty who need to vote, but don’t want to leave campus to do so, Hunter added.
“It’s going to be really reassuring for students and the campus community, so no one feels like they have to run all over the place to vote,” she said. “They can also vote two days before election day if they want.”
The primary will serve as a trial run for election day in November, helping organizers to see what needs tweaking to make voting as easy and convenient as possible, Hunter said.
ASI plans to promote the voting center through traditional social media and marketing channels, as well as sharing it with clubs on campus to help get the word out.
“We are excited,” Hunter said.