To help remind students about deadlines for the upcoming election, the Canvas homepage now provides links to voter information due to the work of the Political and Civic Engagement program.
Though the election is not until Nov. 8, many Indiana deadlines for early and absentee voting take place in advance, said Sandra Shapshay, director of PACE and associate professor in philosophy.
All voters must be registered by Oct. 11, which is 30 days prior to Nov. 8. In-person early voting starts Oct. 12.
Absentee ballot requests must be received by the county election board by Oct. 31, and the completed ballot must reach the board by Election Day, according to the PACE Canvas page.
“There is still a good amount of time, but it’s not infinite time,” Shapshay said.
To help students stay on top of these deadlines, PACE is working with the Office of the Provost to bring registration information to Canvas.
PACE has been involved with voter efforts since Shapshay signed IU up for the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge after attending a conference in Indianapolis.
She said she hopes bringing ALL IN to Canvas will lower information barriers and encourage the students in the most underrepresented age category, 18 to 21, to vote.
“We’re really concerned that students at IU are empowered in their right to vote and get engaged in democracy,” Shapshay said.
The decision to use Canvas was based on the wide reach the program has, Shapshay said. It is used for all IU campuses.
Devon Salge, member of the PACE leadership and ALL IN councils, said he still sees how the choice will benefit voter participation.
Although he spent last semester abroad and did not participate directly in the decision, he said the decision to use Canvas may help reverse the lack of registration that occurred when IU simply sent email notices out to students.
“There’s so much clutter in our email and in our everyday lives, and we just kind of skip over it,” Salge said. “Canvas you visit often enough that you’ll eventually check it out.”
Data from the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement, a partner program that works with universities, indicated 41 percent of IU’s registered students are voting.
The goal is to increase IU student voter registration to at least 50 percent, Salge said.
For Salge, voting is important because democracy is too big for all decisions to be made by each individual citizen voicing their opinions out loud.
“In a way, not voting is a form of free speech, I guess, but if we’re going to get a system where everyone has input, we need to vote,” Salge said. “Your vote is your voice.”