George Washington University: Cancel Synchronous Classes on Election Day

This petition made change with 997 supporters!

Everyone deserves the right to participate in our political process in whatever way is accessible to them. With our national elections being held in less than a month, our country faces a wide array of issues that could potentially interfere with its results: a shortage of poll workers, rampant voter suppression, and delays in the Postal Service affecting mail-in ballots, just to name a few. Thus, increased civic engagement from every member of our communities could not be more critical to ensure everyone who is eligible to vote or work the polls are able to.

Hosting synchronous classes on Election Day is an impediment to necessary civic participation from students, faculty, and other members of the GW community. As of 2018, more than two-thirds of Americans are in favor of making Election Day a holiday or giving workers more time off to go vote according to the Pew Research Center. Moreover, the US Census Bureau in 2016 reported that scheduling conflicts are one of the top two reasons why eligible voters don't vote. And while voting may not take place entirely in person this year, many may still opt to do so, and others may also opt to work the polls. Canceling synchronous classes on Election Day like our neighbor -- American University -- recently did will not only make it easier to participate in our democracy, but it also can lead to an increase in turnout by eliminating scheduling conflicts for both students and faculty.

Regardless of who they are, every eligible member of the GW community deserves the opportunity to fully participate on Election Day, and canceling classes that day -- this year and for future elections -- is the most effective way to make that opportunity truly accessible. Thank you in advance for hearing our concerns.

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