Orange County residents will be able to vote in the November election at Cal State Fullerton’s Titan Student Union, in addition to the university’s Irvine campus.
The student union is currently closed, but the building will be used as a voting center from Oct. 30 to Nov. 2 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
On election day, Nov. 3, the center will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Voters do not need to be CSUF students, staff or faculty.
“One of the things we are also doing differently for this election is that we’re looking for larger spaces to account for physical distancing,” said a representative from the Orange County Registrar of Voters. “We do think because of the larger space it will contribute to it (the student union) being a safer environment because people will not be as close together.”
Hand sanitizing stations, gloves, face coverings, face shields and physical distancing floor stickers will be used in the student union to ensure the safety of staff and voters. Staff will also wipe down commonly touched items and surfaces and offer disposable items to voters.
Face coverings will not be required in order to vote but voters will be offered disposable masks, the representative said.
“All of our staff will be wearing a face covering of some kind, however, for voters in the state of California, it’s been determined that voting rights takes precedence,” the representative said. “A voter will not be turned away if they don’t bring a face covering with them but we will have more than enough disposable face coverings to offer to voters when they do come to vote in person.”
Orange County voters will also be able to fill out a mail in ballot from home and drop it off at either the postal service, any vote center or ballot drop box in the county.
Dr. Dave Edwards, CSUF Associated Students executive director, is a co-chair of the Civic Engagement Working Group, a group created by CSUF last year in preparation for the upcoming election. The group consists of faculty, staff and students working together to promote voter turnout and education.
CSUF is currently participating in the Ballot Bowl, a statewide competition among other California colleges to get students to register to vote, sponsored by the secretary of state. Edwards said CSUF is making a strong effort to promote voter turnout among its students and is currently in first place, as of last Friday.
As part of their efforts, the university has implemented a survey in the portal asking students whether they are registered to vote.
“Cal State Fullerton wants to do everything it possibly can to encourage our constituents, our students, our faculty and staff, as well as our community members and our alumni to get involved with our democratic process,” Edwards said.
Edwards said that the 2018 election had a record turnout at the alumni house on campus and he expects a similar outcome this year. He said he doesn’t think long lines will steer people away from voting because people are passionate and eager about this election.
“The excitement around this election is very high so we’re expecting a lot of positive energy and high turnout for not only all our events, but definitely on election days leading into November 3rd,” Edwards said.
Alexis Arreguin, a fourth year cinema and television arts student and campus resident assistant, said he feels as though a lot of students are interested in voting. Despite having political discussions with students he does not want to pressure students to vote.
Arreguin said that it is important for CSUF to offer a voting center even if the majority of classes are virtual because there are still hundreds of students in housing and many still going to in-person classes, as well as Fullerton locals.
“A lot of our Cal State Fullerton community is still within the local area, so by providing a voting center on campus we’re not only catering to people within the area who have the interest in voting but we’re still catering to our student population,” Arreguin said.
Arreguin said he plans to use the absentee ballot and turn in his ballot at the student union to ensure there is no delay in delivery and that it arrives at the correct place. Arrgeguin plans to inform students at housing that voting on campus is still an option.