“Each of us can mitigate the virus’s threat to the 2020 Census and the 2020 elections by participating from home,” said Arcadia’s Director of the Office of Social Impact & Innovation (SI2) Dr. Alison LaLond Wyant, who is leading the new “Arcadia Votes” civic engagement initiative.
Amidst far more personal and urgent effects of coronavirus, the NAACP’s recent report on the equity implications of the virus points out that COVID-19 also jeopardizes some vehicles of our democracy. Dr. LaLond Wyant urges Arcadia community members to take three actions to counter this:
Critical resources for the delivery of social services rely on accurate data provided by the U.S. Census. As co-chair of a Montgomery County Complete Count Committee subcommittee, Arcadia President Ajay Nair is working to ensure a complete count in the region, as County officials echo federal officials’ message that each and every one of us should be counted.
According to Director of Residence and Commuter Life Susanne Ferrin, students who were living on campus before the disruption of coronavirus will be counted as Arcadia residents in the 2020 U.S. Census through an administrative process in line with the Census Bureau's guidelines. Other students, staff, and faculty should be counted in the household where they live most of the year.
In Pennsylvania, the primary election date has been moved to June 2 and, to encourage mail-in voting and speed up ballot counting, the state legislature also enacted a change so that votes will be counted as they come in rather than waiting until election day. Many states that haven’t yet held their primary elections have adjusted their voting requirements to adjust as well. Madelyn Goral ’22, who is now home in Wisconsin, noted it was easy to apply for a mail-in ballot there, too. Arcadia Votes urges all eligible voters to participate because, as in any election, the results of the 2020 elections will only be as strong as the voter turnout.
Encourage your friends and family
Dr. Lalond Wyant encourages all community members to participate in the 2020 Census and elections, which provide a chance to practice citizenship and participate for the betterment of our communities.