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Salem State University Announces Fall Election Programming

Events are virtual and open to the general public

The Center for Civic Engagement and the Frederick E. Berry Institute of Politics and Civic Engagement at Salem State University have announced a roster of discussions to be held as part of the university’s annual “Your Voice, Your Vote” election programming. In its 5th year, 2020 marks the first time these events will be held virtually. Events are open to the public and media. For Zoom links, email

“Our campus is working to ensure that all students who are eligible to vote will make their voices heard in November by exercising this right,” said Salem State University President John Keenan. “Our Center for Civic engagement has done a phenomenal job of navigating the challenges to voting brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, as we are determined not to let this pandemic suppress our nationally ranked student voter participation rate.”

“We want to give our students the tools to be as informed as possible before they cast their ballots,” said Cynthia Lynch, executive director of the Center for Civic Engagement. “These discussions are designed with our students in mind, and we are hopeful that holding them online will allow more members of the general public to benefit from hearing these talks.”

In addition to the below programming, the Center for Civic Engagement is holding both in-person and virtual voter drives that are non-partisan and cover how to vote in person, by mail or by drop box. They will also use Salem State’s student success app to connect with students about voting.

Salem State has shown a student voting rate well above the national average, earning the university a gold seal from the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. President Keenan has also joined more than 600 college presidents and chancellors in committing to ensuring all eligible students are able to register to vote and cast informed ballots in the 2020 general election and beyond, through the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge.

Earlier this year, the university received national Carnegie Classification for community engagement, having demonstrated that community and civic engagement are embedded throughout the institution’s work.

Your Voice, Your Vote 2020 Events

Conquering Crisis: Defending and Expanding Voting Rights Amid COVID-19

September 17 (Constitution Day) | 12:15-1:30 pm

Featuring Cheryl Clyburn Crawford, Executive Director, MassVOTE and First Vice President, NAACP-Boston Branch.

Topics on the Campaign Trail: Public Health and Health Disparities

October 1 | 12:15-1:30 pm

Featuring Lara Cartwright-Smith, George Washington University and Sara Moore, Professor, Sociology, Salem State

Ranked Choice Voting: Impacts for Democracy and Representation

October 6 | 11 am-12 pm

Featuring Cynthia Terrell, Founder and Executive Director of RepresentWomen and Co-Founder of Fair Vote.

An Insider’s View of Congress: COVID-19 and the Future of Social Security, Medicare and Unemployment Compensation

October 8 | 12:15-1:30 pm

Featuring Michael Evans, SSU Alum and Chief Counsel of US Senate Finance Committee

Discerning Fact from Fiction

October 21 | 10:45 am-12:15 pm

Featuring Professor Kristin Pangallo, Chemistry and Physics and Professor Cindy Vincent, Media and Communication

Myths and Realities: Vote by Mail and Voter Interference

October 23 | 12:15-1:30 pm

Featuring Federal Election Commissioner, Ellen Weintraub

Post-Election Wrap-up

November 5 | 1:30-2:30 pm

Featuring Professor Dan Mulcare, Political Science

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