Hofstra University - Home

Menu Hofstra Votes

As we begin another academic year, there is a date this fall that I would ask you to mark on your calendar. This date will be critical in determining your future, as well as the futures of your classmates, colleagues and family: Election Day, Tuesday, November 6, 2018.

President Rabinowitz

You may ask yourself if I am exaggerating or overstating the importance of voting. You may be asking yourself if one vote really matters, if your vote can make a difference. The answer is a resounding yes, especially if you’re young.

Consider this: Census projections show that young people between the ages of 18 and 35 will overtake Baby Boomers as the largest living adult population in the United States by 2019. Yet their turnout in the 2016 election was the lowest of any age group.

The power to change policy is within your grasp, even now. And an essential part of our mission as an educational institution is Inspiring students to be active participants in the democratic process and providing opportunities to learn about policy, politics and the issues that define the public discourse. Hofstra has hosted three consecutive presidential debates and companion issues education programs because we believe in creating the opportunity for students to become involved, well-informed citizens.

Civic engagement means different things to different people. You can follow a cause or campaign online, sign a petition about an issue that matters to you, participate in a march or rally, work for an advocacy group or even run for office.

But no matter where we fall on the political spectrum, surely we can all agree that civic engagement starts, first and foremost, with voting.

This fall we are launching a campaign called Hofstra Votes. We’ll be hosting campus voter registration events and voting machine demonstrations, as well as lectures, panels and other events addressing a variety of policy issues and reflecting a range of political views. Among the first events we are hosting is a New York state Democratic gubernatorial primary debate on Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018, where most of the invited audience will be students.

On this website, www.hofstra.edu/votes, you’ll find an online voter registration tool, a calendar of Hofstra Votes events, and information about registration and absentee ballot deadlines in your state. (College students who are eligible to vote can register at their home address or their college address).  As part of this effort, be sure to use #HofstraVotes to share your civic engagement activities with the rest of the campus community.

Each time we cast a ballot, we are making an investment in the future, and paying a debt to those who sacrificed their lives to preserve our right to vote.

The math is irrefutable. Every vote matters, including the ones not cast. Voting is both a responsibility and a privilege, and we encourage you to begin your commitment to civic engagement by learning more about issues and voting this November.

Stuart Rabinowitz
President