Junior Uses Fellowship to Promote Voting

November 2, 2020

By Parker Petruney '21

This fall, Abigail Theobald ’22 a politics and sociology double-major from Lyman, Maine, is serving as the Campus Election Engagement Project (CEEP) Student Fellow. Theobald is also a New Hampshire Institute of Politics Kevin B. Harrington Student Ambassador, and serves as the co-chair of the Civic Engagement Committee.

As the CEEP student fellow, Theobald spent her semester educating Saint Anselm students about voting—whether it be in-person or via a mail-in ballot—through several nonpartisan events. On Constitution Day, she handed out cupcakes, pocket constitutions, and voter registration materials and on voter registration day, she offered guidance to her fellow students on the where and when to vote. “I helped them understand which state they wish to vote in, where their polling location is, and whether they wanted to vote in-person or via an absentee ballot! I then addressed any further questions they had about the voting process,” says Theobald.

In addition to in-person events, she did a non-partisan survey on student questions related to absentee ballots and mail-in voting, later offering answers.

“This fellowship has helped me gain many professional skills but also furthered my love of civic awareness, engagement, and education at the same time,” says Theobald. “My favorite skill that I further developed was interpersonal communication, as I spent a lot of time working with students one-on-one to create voting plans and address specific questions and concerns.”
Theobald wants to see her peers engaged in this upcoming election and is excited about the prospect of Saint Anselm student participation and utilizing their voice in democracy.

“Coming into college, I wasn’t entirely sure on what I wanted my course of study to be. I only understood that whatever I chose to do, I wanted to make an impact on the lives of others,” says Theobald. “This fellowship allows me to help individuals express their views in government and feel secure about engaging in civic activities. This opportunity has also helped me broaden my skill set and feel prepared in pursuing future endeavors that promote similar messages.”

The Campus Election Engagement Project (CEEP) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit that helps campuses coordinate democratic engagement activities and institutionalize student voting. CEEP supports over 500 campuses across 25 states and has recently expanded to New Hampshire. CEEP fellows are responsible for coordinating four to six election engagement activities on campus during the fall semester as well as completing a legacy project, which further supports the institutionalization of student voting.

For nearly 20 years, the New Hampshire Institute of Politics (NHIOP) has been at the heart of national and state politics. On Election Night, student ambassadors are hosting an election watch party for Saint Anselm students in the auditorium.

In addition, Executive Director Neil Levesque will provide analysis on the race for president, New Hampshire’s statewide campaigns, and more. Follow Saint Anselm College on Twitter (@saintanselm) for Neil’s reaction as the biggest moments unfold throughout the night.

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