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Secretary Thomas Kicks Off National Voter Registration Day at Central Connecticut State University; 20 Connecticut Campuses Join Voter Registration Drive Efforts

(Hartford, CT) – Tomorrow, Sept. 19, Secretary of the State Stephanie Thomas will kick off National Voter Registration Day (NVRD) with a press conference and voter registration drive at Central Connecticut State University (CCSU). Secretary Thomas will be joined at the press conference by CCSU Provost Dr. Kimberly Kostelis, CCSU Associate Vice President for Community Engagement and Experiential Learning Dr. Beth Merenstein, CCSU O’Neill Endowed Chair for the Center for Community Engagement and Social Research Edwin Vargas, CCSU Student Government Association President Haneen Alkabasi and John Lewis Institute scholar Niya Blizzard-Ireland, who will each speak about the importance of voting and civic participation.

Secretary Thomas’ office has coordinated with 20 college campuses across the state to host NVRD voter registration drives in an effort to engage with younger and potential voters. Secretary Thomas and Deputy Secretary Jacqueline Kozin will each make stops at several of those campuses to meet with students, discuss the importance of voting and civic participation, and help register new voters in advance of the November 7 municipal election.

“Registering to vote is a rite of passage for many of us, and it’s a crucial early step in our civic lives,” said Secretary Thomas. “Our National Voter Registration Day efforts are focused on not just registering new voters, but also helping those future leaders establish the foundations of a lifetime of civic engagement.”

Arienne Orozco, Director of Outreach & Engagement, Office of the Secretary of the State said: “College students living on campus face many voter registration challenges that other Connecticut residents don’t, beginning with making the decision of whether to vote in their college town or in their hometown. For National Voter Registration Day, we decided to focus extra attention on college students to assist them with these questions and serve as an early, positive touchpoint between them and their government.”

Added CCSU Provost Dr. Kimberly Kostelis: “Active participation in the voting process is essential to a healthy democracy. By voting, you ensure your country, state, and towns are represented by candidates who reflect your values and share your concerns. The right to vote was not always guaranteed for many people in this country — don’t take it for granted and instead join the national conversation by casting a vote.”

In addition to CCSU, Secretary Thomas will visit University of Connecticut, Stamford campus later that day, while Deputy Secretary Kozin will stop at registration drives held at her alma mater Albertus Magnus College, as well as Quinnipiac University, Connecticut College, and Mitchell College.

Eligible voters who would like to register may do so in a variety of ways, including in-person at their local registrar’s office, by mail, or online. More information is available at

Additionally, voting eligibility requirements can be found at:

National Voter Registration Day Participating Campuses (all drives to be held on September 19, unless otherwise noted):

Albertus Magnus College (New Haven; 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., near Brie Commons)
Central Connecticut State University (New Britain)
Charter Oaks State College (New Britain)
Connecticut College (New London)
Connecticut State Community College Asnuntuck (Enfield; 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., Tower Lobby)
Connecticut State Community College Naugatuck Valley (Waterbury campus; 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., Student Center 5th floor walkway)
Connecticut State Community College Naugatuck Valley (Danbury campus; 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., second floor)
Connecticut State Community College Three Rivers (Norwich; Oct. 11 & 12, Noon - 4 p.m.)
Connecticut State Community College Tunxis (Farmington; 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., 100 Building Main Lobby)
Eastern Connecticut State University (Willimantic; 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., Fine Arts Amphitheater)
Fairfield University (Fairfield; Barone Campus)
Goodwin University (East Hartford; beginning at Noon)
Mitchell College (New London; 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., Milner Dining Hall)
Post University (Waterbury; 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., September 20, “The Circle” on Upper Campus)
Quinnipiac University (Hamden; 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., Campus quad)
Sacred Heart University (Fairfield; throughout the month of September)
Southern Connecticut State University (New Haven; drive held on September 15)
Trinity College (Hartford; 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., Mather Hall)
University of Bridgeport (September 18 at Noon, & September 19 at 5:30 p.m.)
University of Connecticut (Stamford campus)

September is National Voter Registration Month and was established in 2002 by the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) as a non-partisan means of encouraging voter participation and increasing awareness about state requirements and deadlines for voting. During the month, September 19, will be highlighted by NASS and other voter outreach groups as National Voter Registration Day.

Here’s what Connecticut colleges, universities and students are saying about National Voter Registration Day:

“At Mitchell College, we believe it is important for students to engage with the wider community and understand the importance of citizenship. Exercising their right to vote is one way students can engage as citizens of their communities and a way to voice what matters to them. Having a National Voter Registration Day event on our campus is a great opportunity to help facilitate and connect students to the voting process.” – Antaya Lee, Director of Student Engagement & Orientation at Mitchell College.

"A non-profit student voting initiative, Camels Vote helps students navigate our complicated voting systems and participate in our democratic processes. As young adults, we need to engage in our democracy to create the future that we want to live in. Voting is a critical way for the younger generation to create change and have a real impact on our communities. The right to vote is a staple of democracy, and throughout history this right has been and continues to be suppressed. Registering students to vote and helping them exercise this civic duty is crucial towards making sure our voices are heard." – Emma Pyles, Miranda Van Mooy, and Emily Swintak of student non-profit group Camels Vote.

“Voting is a multi-step process. As a result, for first time voters, such as the youth vote, the process of voting can be difficult. It is events like this that help first time voters register and become active citizens in our political process. Secretary Thomas’ attendance at this event speaks to the significance of registering to vote; the first step in the process of having your voice heard on Election Day.” – Dr. Gayle Alberda, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Politics, Fairfield University.


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