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UMass Medical School joins ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge

Voter registration tables outside Lamar Soutter Library Sept. 22 and 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

By Colleen Locke

UMass Medical School Communications

September 21, 2020

UMass Medical School is participating in the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge, joining the UMass President’s Office, other UMass campuses and more than 1,400 schools nationwide in an effort to get all eligible voters registered to vote ahead of the Nov. 3 general election. This is the first time UMMS has been a part of the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge.

John Erwin, vice chancellor for government relations, is leading the effort for UMMS.

“With the pandemic and all the changes in the ways you can vote in 2020, we needed to do some pretty significant outreach to students and also staff,” Erwin said. “We wanted to make sure that everybody knows how to register to vote and the different ways to vote and encourage them to make a plan. With students, especially, and their busy schedules, if they know these options  for voting, they can make a plan ahead of time on how they will vote for the November election.”

Erwin and others involved with the registration effort will be manning voter registration tables outside the Lamar Soutter Library on Tuesday, Sept. 22 and Thursday Sept. 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Erwin said anyone who is not already registered is encouraged to stop by.

“We’ll be showing people how to vote–they can do that there online. We’ll also be having paper applications for mail-in ballots, so people can fill out the mail-in ballot application and they can scan it from their phone and send it right to their town hall,” Erwin said.

As a member of the ALL IN Democracy Committee, Emily Gentile, SOM ’22, will be assisting in the voter registration. A former student leader of the nonprofit Citizen Physicians, she’s been interested in politics, government and civic engagement since going to college in Washington, D.C.

“As a medical student and future physician, I believe that it is imperative that we use our right to vote to promote healthier policies and a more equitable, safe and sustainable community for our patients,” Gentile said. “This year, I am especially interested in helping with increasing voter turnout because I want people to understand the power that they have to make a change in the world. I also think that the stakes for this election are higher than ever, and that every single vote matters.”

Massachusetts voters need to register to vote by Oct. 24 in order to vote in the Nov. 3 election. Information about how to register, request a mail-in ballot and find a polling location is posted on the Office of Community and Government Relations website.

The ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge is an initiative of the nonpartisan organization Civic Nation. The organization’s goal is to get individuals to play an active role in U.S. democracy.