(Nov. 8, 2010)--The Nov. 2 midterm elections have drawn to a close and UTSA Student Government Association officials report more than 2,700 votes were cast during the two-week early-voting period at the new polling location, the University Center ballroom lobby on the Main Campus.
In an effort to publicize the university's selection as an early-voting site and to motivate students to vote, SGA representatives and other student organizations registered more than 1,600 new voters, students who then became eligible to cast their ballots.
"We are pleased to see UTSA students involved in the political process and taking advantage of the opportunity to vote early at the polling site on the Main Campus," said UTSA President Ricardo Romo. "We will continue to build on that momentum and work hard to see that our students, faculty, staff and neighbors have an early-voting polling site available on our campus for future elections."
Because it was the first time early voting had taken place in the University Center instead of the Main Building, the university worked closely with Bexar County election officials to make sure all protocols were followed.
UTSA external affairs representatives publicized the early-voting location to local businesses and to surrounding neighborhood associations, while university parking personnel set out signs and provided easily accessible parking spaces for visitors unfamiliar with the Main Campus.
"My company sent out an e-mail to employees reminding us that UTSA was open for early voting and encouraging employees to take advantage of the convenient location," said Yvonne Fernandez '85, assistant vice president of commercial services at Security Service Federal Credit Union. "I voted on the last day and had no trouble finding the University Center."
The UTSA Main Campus early-voting site also was publicized by local media outlets after several student organizations invited candidates and political personalities to campus. Overall, more than 40 political candidates visited the UTSA Main Campus during the two-week early-voting period.
"I believe student interest in government is growing as the issues facing our nation become more serious and applicable to our everyday lives," said Derek Trimm, UTSA Student Government Association president.
On the first day of early voting, Joseph Wurzelbacher, better known as "Joe the Plumber," spoke to UTSA students. He encouraged voters to do their own research on the candidates and not rely on short sound bites to make their decisions. Wurzelbacher first gained notoriety during the 2008 presidential election when he questioned Sen. Barack Obama on his small-business policy during a campaign stop in Ohio.
With the 2010 election season over, SGA and UTSA officials plan to evaluate this year's planning process, make changes as needed and be prepared to remain one of 41 early-voting polling locations in Bexar County.
Since early voting sites have been designated at UTSA, more than 11,200 ballots have been cast on the UTSA Main Campus.
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