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Van Rensselaer Hall Designated Polling Location for 2008 National Election

October 28, 2008

Philadelphia City Commissioners have announced that the polling place for the 24th Ward, 10th Division will be moved to Van Rensselaer Hall (3320 Powelton Avenue) on Drexel University’s University City campus. It had been located at 3500 Lancaster Avenue. This move comes following a petition filed last spring on behalf of Drexel Votes 2008 and a public hearing last month. The move places the polling booth more in the center of the Division, and closer to most voters.

“This is important for Drexel,” said University President Constantine Papadakis. "We are committed to public service, and there is no public duty greater than exercising the right to vote. Having a polling place on our campus is exactly the right symbol for all of us. We thank the Commissioners for their vote.”

There is a resurgence of interest in the political process at campuses across the US, and none with greater enthusiasm than at Drexel University.

Last spring, Drexel students’ energy and enthusiasm for the 2008 election caught the attention of Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter. The Mayor wrote to the editors of the Triangle, Drexel’s student newspaper, to express his appreciation for the efforts made by University students, faculty and staff who worked with Drexel Votes 2008.

“Voting is more than a right – it is an obligation of citizenship,” Nutter wrote. “I personally know that every single vote counts. Drexel is to be applauded for its commitment to this fundamental civic value.”

The initiative to move the polling location came at the suggestion of Carl “Tobey” Oxholm III, Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff. Brian Keech, Vice President of Government and Community Relations worked with the local community and with the Philadelphia City Commissioners to make the change possible.

“Through my office, Drexel requested that the Philadelphia City Commissioners move the polling location onto Drexel’s campus because most of the voters in Ward 24-10 live on Drexel’s campus in the dormitories,” Keech, said. “It was also done in response to the spirit of the Drexel Votes 2008 program, and to encourage civic engagement at Drexel.”

The announcement was sent to President Papadakis from Gary P. Ferris, Polling Place Supervisor for the Philadelphia City Commissioners. Jennifer Calvert, Drexel’s director of residential living, will coordinate the delivery, maintenance and utilization of the voting machines while they are on campus.

Students who have registered to vote are encouraged to identify their polling place early. Drexel Votes 2008, a University initiative designed to encourage students to get involved in the political process and vote, has a comprehensive FAQ and list of resources to help student voters on their Web site at Drexel students and staff are also working with the Committee of 70 on Election Day.

Students who have registered in their home districts and are unable to return to vote are encouraged to obtain an absentee ballot form. Information on absentee ballots can be obtained through Drexel Votes 2008 or by contacting representatives from national or state congresses.

While voter registration for Pennsylvania closed Oct. 6, New Jersey residents have until Tuesday, Oct. 14 to register.


News media contact: Craig Eisenberger, Drexel News Bureau 215-895-2705, 215-518-0577 (cell) or

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