Law students across the country are fanning out to poll sites as election monitors, manning phones to answer voter questions, and finding other ways to serve the public on Election Day. Some schools, such as Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, are closed in order to allow students to vote and volunteer without missing class. Students at other schools are putting their studies aside for one day to pitch in on voting projects. Here are a few examples of how law students are getting involved.
The University of Pennsylvania Law School
Philadelphia-area voters who are stuck in the hospital are getting help this year from a consortium of Penn students, including those from the medical and law schools. Under the “Penn Votes” project, patients who are unexpectedly hospitalized at two local hospitals—Penn Presbyterian Medical Center and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania—are able to vote through absentee ballots. Patients wanting to vote absentee fill out an application and medical staff certify that they are too sick to make it to the polls. Then law student volunteers take the notarized application to City Hall, obtain the absentee ballot and take it back to the patient at the hospital. Once it’s filled out, the students take it to the election office. They are also available to advocate for hospitalized voters in the event of any further reviews by elections officials. The process is intended to happen in the week prior to Election Day but there are avenues for hospitalized voters to cast their ballot after that cutoff.
Loyola Law School, Los Angeles
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