Students ready to vote

Thousands of Washington University in St. Louis students are expected to vote Tuesday, Nov. 8, many for the first time. To make the experience easy, and memorable,  the university has established one central polling location for students who live on campus, and it will host an evening watch party at the Danforth University Center.

Undergraduate and graduate students from Washington University in St. Louis gathered Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016 for the kickoff event for WashU Votes, an effort to encourage student involvement in the 2016 election and the 2016 Presidential Debate being hosted on the WU Campus Oct. 9, 2016. The WashU Votes program is part of the Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement. Haley Dolosic, president of the Graduate Professional Council and Cassandra Klosterman, Voter Engagement Fellow at the Gephardt Institute deliver remarks. Photo by Sid Hastings / WUSTL Photos
Haley Dolosic (left), president of the Graduate Professional Council, and Cassie Klosterman, voter engagement fellow at the Gephardt Institute, have worked hard to boost voter registration. (Photo: Sid Hastings/Washington University)

“Getting that first ‘I voted’ sticker is so exciting,” said Cassie Klosterman, voter engagement fellow at the Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement and a 2016 graduate of Arts & Sciences. “There will be a festive mood all day on campus.”

An anticipated 1,500 to 2,000 South 40 and Village residents will vote at the Athletic Complex. The Gephardt Institute will serve hot cocoa and cider to waiting voters  and the Office of Public Affairs will host a voting pop-up tent from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with carnival games, swag, a selfie booth and cake pops. Social Programming Board and Washington University Political Review will throw an election party with free food at 7 p.m.  in the Danforth University Center.

Election Day

When: 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 8. Polls will remain until all voters in line by 7 p.m. have voted.
Where: The Athletic Complex; voters who live off campus may find their polling place here.

Accepted forms of identification:

* Photo ID issued by the federal government, Missouri, another state or a higher education institution in Missouri
* Current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck or government check
* Any government document that shows your name and address

To learn more about your ballot, visit

Klosterman recommends students plan in advance when they will vote and to bring a friend to the polls.

“Don’t let the day slip away,” Klosterman said. “Keep in mind, there may be lines so having a voting buddy can be a good motivator.”

The Gephardt Institute registered 3,608 new voters — some 25 percent of the student body — this academic year through the online platform TurboVote. Approximately 70 percent of those students register to vote in Missouri. 

TurboVote ranks Washington University No. 3 in overall number of registrations and No. 2 in percent of the student body registered. Thousands of other students registered on their own.

Klosterman won’t know the total number of students who registered or voted until spring, when Tufts University completes its National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement. The Gephardt Institute set a goal of an 80 percent registration rate and a 65 percent voting rate. In 2012, some 72 percent of Washington University’s 13,600 students registered, and some 56 percent of those students voted.

“My hope is that we reach or exceed that goal,” Klosterman said. “But what’s even more important is that our students are staying engaged in the political process.”

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