By: Ashley Rose
On Nov. 8, the American Democracy Project of IU South Bend hosted their annual Party at the Polls event. This event encouraged students and staff to come together in celebration of Election day before going to the polls to vote together.
This was the second party at the polls event held this year, the other taking place on National Vote Early Day.
The ADP was happy to see a large turn out for this event. While the election held on Nov. 8 was a midterm election, ADP hoped to spread information on the importance of voting and participating in this election.
This midterm election held several county races including Sheriff, Prosecutor, County Council, County Commissioners, Auditor, Recorder and Assessors. Outside of county races, non-partisan candidates running in this election included school board members. More notably, U.S. Senate and U.S. Representative positions were on the ballot, which determined what party will have control over the Congress, heavily impacting the passing of future bills and legislations.
The Party at the Polls included free t-shirts, buttons, snacks and information to help voters learn more about who is on their ballot before heading across the street to vote at John Adams High School. Dr. Elizabeth Bennion, the founder of IU South Bend’s ADP, provided information about who was on the ballot, as well as information about how different candidates play a role in the county.
Freshman Kaz Kazmierzak attended the Party at the polls event after seeing signs around campus pertaining to the event. This was their first time voting, and they were eager to make their voice heard.
“I think it’s good to encourage young people to vote because, as the new generation, we need to make our voices heard,” Kazmierzak said. “While anyone can make a difference, as well as be informed, I think because we have “fresher eyes” we need to express how we feel through voting.”
This midterm election had the highest voter turnout come from Generation Z, the newest generation to vote. Election results have been finalized in Indiana, but other states are still finalizing results, and runoffs are expected to take place on Dec. 6.