CAMDEN — In every election, every vote counts. That’s why Rutgers–Camden law students are hard at work encouraging Camden residents to exercise their right to vote in the Nov. 6 election.
The Voters’ Rights Project is a pro bono effort in which Rutgers–Camden law students raise awareness of the election, monitor the polling places, collect data on voter participation, and ensure that Camden voters have equal access to the polls.
“We want to make certain that the people of Camden know where to vote and we want to encourage them to exercise their right to vote,” says Nick Hung, a second-year Rutgers–Camden law student from Toronto now living in Camden.
Now in its seventh year, the program stems from Rutgers–Camden law students’ efforts to create a project mirroring the national Election Protection program.
The student-run project is a unique partnership between the Rutgers School of Law–Camden and the Camden County Board of Elections, which conducts training for participating students and deputizes law students to assist in making sure that the system works for all voters.
Students are permitted to observe the polling places and log detailed observations of the voting process, record voter demographics, and make recommendations on how to improve future elections in an effort to maintain and improve voter access in Camden.
“We’ve developed a good relationship with the Camden County Board of Elections to make sure that there are no violations at the polling centers on Election Day,” says Monil Amin, a second-year Rutgers–Camden law student from Virginia now living in Camden. “It’s a presidential election year, which reinforces the importance of encouraging as many people as we can to vote.”
In addition to working on Election Day, the students hold voter registration drives throughout the year.
“Our Voters Rights Project, organized by students committed to fostering civic engagement and the democratic process, has registered hundreds of new voters and carefully monitored Camden elections since its inception,” says Eve Biskind Klothen, assistant dean for pro bono and public interest programs at Rutgers–Camden.
In 2009, the project was selected as the recipient of the Equal Justice Works Exemplary Public Service Award for a Student Group, a highly competitive national honor.
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Media Contact: Ed Moorhouse