To the Duke Community, 

We are now a week away from election day, but early voting at Duke, in Durham, and across the state is well underway. Over a third of registered voters have already cast their ballots in North Carolina—I dropped mine off at the Board of Elections more than a month ago—but you can still register and vote in-person or drop off absentee ballots at any eligible polling place in your county of residence through this Saturday, October 31st.

In this unusual year, amidst concerns about safety during the pandemic, unfounded claims of widespread election fraud, and even some efforts to dissuade voters from exercising their voting rights, it is critically important that you make your voice heard. To that end, I’m proud of the Duke community’s leadership in this election season. You may have seen students waving signs encouraging drivers and pedestrians to vote—a reminder that seems to be working, as more early ballots have been cast at the Karsh Alumni and Visitors Center than any other polling place in the county. In addition to these visible expressions of the political process, many of us have engaged in honest—and occasionally difficult—conversations with family members, classmates, friends, and neighbors about the issues that matter to us most.

Despite this head start, many members of the Duke community have not yet voted. So today I again urge you to do so if you are eligible. Early voting and same-day registration will be open weekdays this week from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and this Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Karsh Alumni and Visitors Center (2080 Duke University Road) and other polling places throughout the county. Note that residents of North Carolina can register and early vote at any polling place in your county of residence, but you can only vote in your precinct on election day. Click here for more information about registration.

We’re fortunate to be part of such an engaged university community, one that benefits from open dialogue and from some of the leading minds in political science and policy research. If you are interested in learning more about the presidential election process, I encourage you to have a look at this excellent list of resources prepared by POLIS at the Sanford School of Public Policy.

Thank you for your participation in the political process and for your support of our community.