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Petition calls for day off for students to vote

Some students have difficulty voting due to distance

<p>Response has been largely positive and bipartisan in nature, Olszewski said. However, a small minority of people have critiqued the petition on the grounds there are already existing opportunities to vote.</p>

Response has been largely positive and bipartisan in nature, Olszewski said. However, a small minority of people have critiqued the petition on the grounds there are already existing opportunities to vote.

A recent petition is requesting the administration to grant all students a full leave of absence on federal primary and presidential election days.

The petition was spearheaded by third-year Law student Richard Olszewski, a member of U.Va. for Bernie Sanders.

“The petition is supposed to enhance democratic participation,” Olszewski said in an email statement. “In other words, it is supposed to make it easier for students to participate in elections. Students are likelier to vote if it is easier to do so.”

Response has been largely positive and bipartisan in nature, Olszewski said. However, a small minority of people have critiqued the petition on the grounds there are already existing opportunities to vote.

“The petition is necessary because it is necessary to work toward a more perfect realization of the radical democratic vision of Jefferson and the other Founders of our great [nation],” Olszewski said.

University Democrats President Sam Tobin, a third-year College student, said it is important for young people like University students to make their voices heard.

“Myself and most members of the University Democrats support the petition,” Tobin said in an email statement. “We think getting election day off from school would make it easier for students to vote.”

Tobin said he would support any initiative facilitating an easier voting experience for students.

“We also support other efforts, including those those of Student Council, to make it easier for students to vote, such as having a polling location on Grounds,” Tobin said.

Several voting precincts are within walking distance of the University or are located on bus routes, including Alumni Hall and Venable Elementary School.

“U.Va. strongly encourages our students and employees to exercise their right to vote,” Deputy Spokesperson Matt Charles said in an email statement. “For students who are not local to the Charlottesville area, the University encourages students to take advantage of absentee voting so that their vote will be counted.”

The College Republicans declined to comment.

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