Election 2008: Election Action Center informs students, encourages going "beyond voting

By Katie Zager

Macalester’s Election Action Center, located upstairs in the Campus Center, will be open during all Campus Center hours between now and Election Day and will serve as a hub for the election-related activities of campus and community organizations. The Election Action Center (EAC) is the product of the Mac Voter Coalition, an organization with representatives from Macalester College Student Government, MacDems and Minnesota Public Interest Research Group (MPIRG). Molly Griffard ’09, one of the founders of the EAC said the center operates on the assumption that students will vote. The goal of the EAC, she said, “is to provide a space that will encourage students to go beyond voting.”

Students staffing the center will be available to answer questions about when and where to vote and to provide information to students on other ways they can influence the election.

Griffard stressed that “students of any political persuasion are welcome.” Students from the MPIRG Democracy task force are conducting non-partisan activities, while MacDems’s efforts will focus on electing democratic candidates. Representatives of Mac GOP, whose activities are centered primarily off campus, will also be available in the EAC.

MacDems and Mac for Obama are organizing door-to-door canvassing of Ward 3, Precinct 7-Macalester’s precinct-where they educate residents on same-day voter registration and encourage them to vote. The organization has also taken on a number of apartment buildings around the city and worked to reach those residents as well.

Sher Tareen, a member of MacGOP, said that while the organization is not leading any activities itself, Sen. John McCain’s campaign is working on “get out the vote” activities from Nov. 1 to Nov. 4. Tareen said the campaign is trying to promote voter turnout among republicans and independents and needs the help of volunteers for phone-banking and door-to-door canvassing.

The print edition of this article and an earlier online edition incorrectly identified Macalester’s precinct as “precinct 37.” Macalester is located within the territory of Ward 3, Precinct 7.