Nov 18, 2019
James Borunda, master social work student at Fresno State, holds U.S. Census statistics at a ballot drop-off site available for students at Fresno State. Voters headed to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 6, for the 2018 midterm elections. (Cresencio Rodriguez-Delgado/The Collegian)

Campus ballot drop-off encourages voting

While there wasn’t an official voting booth on campus this year, students from the Fresno State social work department decided to host a ballot drop-off to make sure all votes get counted.

James Borunda, who coordinated the “Bring Your Own Ballot” event, considers voting to be about accountability. He also said the campus’ distinction as a Hispanic-Serving Institution means its important to get the Hispanic community to vote. He cited U.S. Census numbers that portrayed a low voter turnout among Hispanics.

“I want to be part of that change,” Borunda said.

Ricardo Franco, a former candidate for the U.S. District 22 seat, attended the ballot drop-off location on the balcony of the University Student Union and said he appreciated social work students were taking the lead in the voting effort.

Franco touted two new changes in California law that allow voters to have someone other than them to turn in their ballots and one that allows for pictures to be taken of ballots. Both laws, Franco said, make voting easier.

“People just don’t know how (to vote). That’s the hardest part in all of this,” Franco said. “Once you create a safe space for people to actually vote … they realize it’s not that hard.”

Ballots dropped off by 5 p.m. Tuesday would be delivered to the county registrar’s office, according to Borunda.

Elsewhere on campus, students said they voted because they understood the impact of it. Senior biology major Erik Sanchez said he voted this year because he it was an especially important election for him.

“It’s a breaking point because it’s a midterm election. Of course, California is already blue but it’s a determining state for future presidents,” Sanchez said.

Collegian sports editor Mike Ford contributed to this story.

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