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Frostburg State Among First Group of Voter Friendly Campuses
03/28/2017

Frostburg State Among First Group of Voter Friendly Campuses

Frostburg State University has been designated a Voter Friendly Campus in the inaugural list of 83 such campuses nationwide from the Campus Vote Project in partnership with NASPA, Student Affairs Professionals in Higher Education. Just two Maryland schools earned the designation: Frostburg and Towson University.

To merit the recognition, FSU enacted a comprehensive plan to engage students in the democratic process throughout the 2016 election and foster ongoing democratic engagement.

Those engagement efforts were successful enough that the morning after the 2016 election, the Cumberland Times-News reported that a Frostburg-area polling places ran out of provisional ballots by 3 p.m. during the election following unexpectedly high student turnout. Though the location requested more provisional ballots than the state recommended, election officials had to get an additional 500-plus ballots midday to meet demand.

FSU’s series of Town Hall Meetings engaged students in moderated discussions about prominent issues. Viewing parties for the presidential debates in the Lane University Center engaged students in further discussions about the candidates and their stances. Students reviewed Maryland’s new paper ballots with a Board of Elections official, and candidate information was hosted on FSU’s Civic Engagement webpage. With TurboVote, an online tool, Frostburg also facilitated student voter registration. TurboVote was continuously available through FSU webpages and publicized through numerous campus venues.

Information about absentee balloting ensured students who were registered in distant districts knew how to cast their votes. On Election Day, FSU offered free van shuttles to local polling locations. A campus-wide communication campaign helped turn out the vote and promoted awareness of the right to cast provisional ballots if students could not reach their home polling places.

On the evening of the election, a group of students watched election night coverage on a movie screen in the Lane Center, with political science professors and local officials on hand to moderate discussions, explain the Electoral College process and offer historical context for the evening’s events.

The Voter Friendly Campus Designation was created last year by NASPA and the Campus Vote Project to recognize campuses doing excellent work to empower students to engage with democracy. Recognized campuses registered, educated and saw high student turnout for the 2016 election and have plans in place to keep students engaged through 2017 and 2018.

For more information about civic and democratic engagement efforts at FSU, visit www.frostburg.edu/sci/civic-engagement-home. For a list of Voter Friendly Campuses, visit https://www.voterfriendlycampus.org/campus-designees.

Situated in the mountains of Allegany County, Frostburg State University is one of the 12 institutions of the University System of Maryland. FSU is a comprehensive, residential regional university and serves as an educational and cultural center for Western Maryland. For more information, visit www.frostburg.edu or facebook.com/frostburgstateuniversity. Follow FSU on Twitter @frostburgstate.

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For further information on this release, contact:

Office of News and Media Services
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD  21532-2303

Telephone: 301-687-3171
Fax: 301-687-7589
E-mail: news@frostburg.edu