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Davis, California

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Permanent ballot dropbox installed on UC Davis campus 

Students discuss the importance of on-campus voting options and how the dropbox might affect their voting habits


By JALAN TEHRANIFAR — features@theaggie.org


On April 19, UC Davis and the Yolo County Elections Office co-hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the installation of an official ballot dropbox on campus. The ballot box will be permanently located outside the bus station at the Memorial Union (MU) on the northeast corner of Hunt Hall. 

Chancellor Gary May made a statement in regard to the ballot box, according to the UC Davis website.

“One of the primary goals of UC Davis is to help our students become citizen leaders in our democracy who exercise their right and duty to vote,” May said. “We also welcome other county voters who find UC Davis a convenient place to drop off their ballot.”

The ballot dropbox is in the center of campus, offering a convenient location for students, instructors and other members of the UC Davis community to cast their ballots. Additionally, many UC Davis students who are not from Yolo county may not be aware of their options for submitting absentee ballots. 

Kimberly Bautista, a first-year nutrition science major, said she wouldn’t know where to submit her vote if it weren’t for an on-campus ballot box.

“I’m a student, I’m practically here every day, so having one close by would make voting so much easier,” Bautista said. “Also, I’m not from here, so if there weren’t a ballot box here, I wouldn’t know where to go to find another one, if I’m being honest.”

Daniela Ocampo, a first-year managerial economics major, also said she hadn’t thought about where to go to vote, and the placement of a ballot box on campus has brought that to her attention.

“Actually, now that I think about it, I’ve never really thought about what it would be like when the time came and I’d actually be able to vote,” Ocampo said. “I remember being younger and wishing I was 18 already so I could vote, but now I’m here; I just turned 19, and I wouldn’t even know where to go to vote if you hadn’t mentioned it.” 

Even if students know where they can drop off their absentee ballots, getting to a ballot box off campus can be inconvenient for students who bike or ride the bus. 

Gabrielle Osorio, a first-year biological sciences major, said that having a ballot box on campus makes voting much easier for students, since they can now drop off their ballots while biking to class or catching the bus.

“I always intended to vote, but I think it’s really nice to have a ballot box so accessible for students,” Osorio said. “It kind of, in a way, gives students no excuse for not voting, which I think is good. As students, we are here most of the year, which means during voting times, so being able to have a designated box on campus to put our ballots in kind of takes the stress away from making a submission.” 

The California Primary election is on June 7, and early voting began on May 9 across the state. The new on-campus ballot dropbox will be available to use for this upcoming election, and will accept ballots for the first time since its installation this month.

“We know students have busy lives. A drop box on the campus of UC Davis is a wonderful innovation to help meet young voters where they are and help them develop the habit of voting,” said Secretary of State Shirley Weber, according to the UC Davis website.


Written by: Jalan Tehranifar — features@theaggie.org



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