Governor Ed Rendell made a visit to campus on Thursday as part of the PA Democrats’ “Road to Change” tour.
In addition to Governor Rendell, several local democratic candidates spoke to students, encouraging them to not “stop at the top” of the ballot, and to vote full straight party for the democrats.
These included Jose Urdaneta, running for state senate, and Bruce Slater, a candidate for Congress.
The event was held next to the pond, in front the gazebo.
About 100 student supporters came out to hear the Governor speak, along with community members and even a few McCain supports who silently held up signs in the back.
While the “Road to Change” bus was running a few minutes late, members of Millersville’s Students for Barack Obama (SFBO) got the crowd excited to hear Rendell speak.
When he did, he connected with students on issues and talked a good deal about the recent Phillies’ win of the World Series.
After getting the crowd interested, Rendell switched his focus to issues of the state’s Democratic Party, echoing previous speakers’ encouragement to vote straight party.
He also mentioned how he and the democrats in Harrisburg worked to lower the rate of tuition increases at PASSHE University’s to below the rate of inflation, which they had exceeded in previous years.
“[There’s] no excuse for not voting,” said Rendell. “It’s going to affect every bit of your lives.”
When Rendell later talked about the Presidential campaign, he reacted to some of the popular criticisms of the Republicans, such as taxes.
He also included an explanation of a tax credit for families that have students attending higher education institutions that would drastically cut education costs for students.
Rendell closed his talk by reminding everyone that even though Pennsylvania is leaning towards going for Obama that every vote counts. “I don’t just want to win this election,” said Rendell. “I want to crush them.”
Organizers of the event, MU SFBO, have been hard at work making sure every registered voter would vote.
Volunteers walked around before and after the event to sign up students to be reminded to vote, and to volunteer for the campaign in the last few days of the campaign.
Senior Greg Jackson, an intern for the campaign, said he has been spending over 20 hours per week the past few weeks, and has been working more and more as election day approached.
According to various members of the group, MU SFBO started working as early as last spring, encouraging voters to vote in the primaries for Barack and getting students registered for the upcoming election. “We’ve registered a lot of students to vote,” said Jackson.
The volunteers also have given away many campaign-laden items such as posters, static clings and door tags reminding students to vote.
They even held a “make-your-own-t-shirt” event where students could spray paint the Obama logo on to tee-shirts.
On Election Day, the group offered vans from the SMC to the Millersville Firehouse where on-campus students can vote.
Students with megaphones continually announced how much time was left to vote to persuade those students who had not yet voted to get out to the polls.