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The Ticker

The student news site of Baruch

The Ticker

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Baruch student hosts ‘Bearcats work the polls’ event to get students to vote

Anna Treyger

Mary Abdelmassih, a senior at Baruch College, organized a voter registration drive and poll worker information booth in collaboration with the Office of Student Life on April 11. During club hours in the second-floor lobby, students were able to find up-to-date information on how to register to vote in the upcoming election and learn how to become a poll worker.

Abdelmassih, a coordinator for the NYC Board of Elections, took the initiative to organize the event, inspired by her commitment to maintaining the integrity of the voting system. As an election day poll worker since the age of 17, she found becoming a poll worker to be a fantastic way to immerse oneself in the civic system and learn the ins and outs of bureaucracy firsthand.   

“I encourage Baruch students to vote and those who need a job, go work the Election Day polls!” she said.

By the end of the event Baruch students had filled out over 100 voter registration forms that came pre-postaged and ready to be sent out. In addition, the QR code to become an election day poll worker had been scanned over 100 times. Other students took extra forms to share with friends and family. 

Becoming a poll worker is an avenue for fulfilling one’s civic duty, as well as a lucrative opportunity for low-commitment, un-intensive labor and pays up to $300 per day. It is also a great way to get active in the community, while meeting people in the neighborhood, Abdelmassih shared.

Registering to vote ahead of Election Day helps bridge the gap between constituents and the growing lack of information. The event shed light on the fact that many new voters are not well-informed regarding their local representatives. Abdelmassih mentions that the Presidential Elections are highly televised, whereas local elections are not. As a result, many New Yorkers do not know who their legislators are or what they can do for them. It is important to keep tabs on elected officials who have a direct impact on the public’s quality of life when, say, a tree falls on their yard or they need a pothole fixed on their street.

“We should control the direction of our city,” she said. “Voting is a great way to do that.”   

Registering to vote may not have immediate reversal effects of unpopular legislation, but it empowers citizens to have a say, Abdelmassih said. This may not be a physical or visible change in personal power, but it is a powerful means of accountability as far as elected officials go, especially when they earn six-figure salaries. Voting is the first step in approaching solutions to concerns of community safety, air quality and taxes. Above all, voting earns citizens the right to complain as it credits them with attempting to make a change. 

Abdelmassih makes a note, “there is no Batman,” leaving voters solely responsible for ensuring resources are directed to them.

More information can be found following the links below:

Find your local elected official (city council member):

Register to vote:

Register to be a poll worker:

CUNY Votes:

NYC Votes:

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