Penn Student-Run Voter Mobilization Drive Ramps Up Efforts Leading to Nov. 7 Election

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Media Contact:Jacquie Posey | jposey@pobox.upenn.edu | 215-898-6460November 2, 2006

PHILADELPHIA--  Penn Leads the Vote, a non-partisan, student-run voter mobilization drive developed by the Fox Leadership Program at the University of Pennsylvania, has mounted a broad information campaign to remind students about Election Day and ensure that they know when and where to vote.

The group, which has a website at www.leadthevote.org, has distributed flyers listing polling places by residence, posted the information across dozens of listservs and handed out nearly 1,000 "Penn Leads the Vote" red and blue T-shirts. Penn Leads the Vote also has an "Election Day Countdown" flyer showing 40,000 times per day on the Penn network.

"In 2004, our efforts led to a tremendous increase in voter turnout.  Nearly three times as many students voted in 2004 as did in 2000," Bren Darrow, undergraduate student director of the initiative, said.  "In September, we had a tremendously successful registration drive, turning in more than 1,500 registration forms, much more than in 2004."  

The get-out-the vote efforts will culminate on Nov. 7, when balloons and signs will be hung all over campus and student volunteers will be stationed at Penn polling places to provide voters with bagels, donuts and coffee in the morning and at mid-day.  All day long, the volunteers will staff an information booth on College Green.  At 3 p.m., more than 200 of them will launch a final, raucous get-out-the-vote effort roaming campus, making noise and reminding people to vote.

Other Penn student groups coordinating with Penn Leads the Vote include the United Minority Council, Civic House Associates Council, Latino Coalition, Asian Pacific Students Coalition, Inter-Fraternity Council and Pan-Hellenic Council, Undergraduate Assembly.