The Joseph McKeen Center for the Common Good tabled in David Saul Smith Union to assist students with voter registration on Tuesday. The event coincided with National Voter Registration Day to encourage the political participation of the student body.

“We want all students to be civically engaged. Community engagement can take a lot of different forms, but one of them should be participating in the electoral process,” said Andrew Lardie, the McKeen Center associate director for service and leadership. “[It is important to] know what is at stake in the community, what is at stake on the ballot and be able to participate in [the electoral process] by being both educated and motivated to do it.”

McKeen Center representatives were on duty in the Union all day. They helped with online voter registration and requesting absentee ballots through Turbovote, a third party service paid for by Bowdoin Student Government.

“We help them to register, decide where to register, and we have absentee ballot registrations for a few different states,” said Liam Gunn ’17, the McKeen Center election engagement fellow. “The rest of what we do involves educating people about the election.”

“Historically, there was no administrative apparatus to support students’ civic engagement in the elections,” Lardie said. 

The table received a steady stream of students seeking assistance.

“I think [the event] has been really strong,” said Lardie. “I think if nothing else, we wish we had the resources to be more present, more often and in more places.”

The McKeen Center will also table at future events, such as sports games, after the vice presidential debate on October 4 and after the final presidential debate on October 19. 

“It’s important for us as students to get involved and have a say, especially in this election, and I think that the voter registration booth was a really good resource to help students with that,” said Ellie Sapat ’20. “The fact that National Voter Registration Day occurred right after the presidential debate was perfect because the topic of the election was fresh in everyone’s mind.”

Lardie said the McKeen Center’s Facebook page, Bowdoin Votes, is an additional resource that Bowdoin students can use to further educate themselves about the election and voter registration.