September 13, 2009
09-137

Jennifer Tanner
Communications Specialist

AAUW Host Political Forum; Televised on VSU-TV

VALDOSTA - The American Association of University Women, Valdosta branch, will host a political forum for the 2009 general municipal elections from 7-9 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 15, in Whitehead Auditorium, Fine Arts Building.

The event will be televised live on VSU-TV Channel 20 and feature candidates who are running for office in the upcoming contested elections. Dr. James Peterson, political science department head and professor, will moderate the panel-style event, which will allow each speaker a two-minute opening statement, a one-minute closing statement and time to respond to audience questions.

This year's forum may be of special interest to the VSU community. Faculty, staff and students who plan to vote this November will have the opportunity to cast their ballots for these and other elections for the first time. According to the Lowndes County Board of Elections and Registration, any Lowndes County voter registered by Oct. 5 who is attending class, teaching or working on campus can participate in advanced voting from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. the full week before every election in the University Center's Executive Dining Room. VSU will serve as the official precinct for on-campus students during election day.

The new option is the result of collaboration between VSU's College Democrats, College Republicans and Deb Cox, supervisor of elections for Lowndes County. Working together with University officials and the Justice Department, they established the new on-campus precinct in an effort to make voting more convenient for the VSU community.

Cox and members from both organizations have said they expect the new opportunity will allow for a larger voter turnout and a stronger voice for young voters. The forum, also hosted at VSU, is an opportunity for campus voters and others to become educated about the local races and fully engaged in the political process.

Sponsored by the AAUW, in conjunction with the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce and both the republican and democratic parties from Lowndes County, the local political forums were initiated by Dr. Jo Ann Hartman and are dedicated to the memory of Virginia Branan.

Contact Event Coordinator Emily Rogers at (229) 333-7105 or emcatrogers@gmail.com for more information about the forum; contact Volunteer Coordinator and Valdosta AAUW President Martha Leake at (229) 333-5756 or mleake@valdosta.edu if you wish to help during the event.