Whitman prepares for Election Day

Alasdair Padman, Editor-in-chief

At 11:23 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 2, students received an email from President Kathy Murray titled “The Presidential Election.”

The email encouraged students to vote in the election, and included information on a series of election-related programs, as well as updates to the school’s emergency response plan.

Washington State has same day voter registration and voting, but you will need to present a valid state ID or your social security number.

For Washington voters in Walla Walla, registration and voting can be completed at the Fairgrounds. The elections department is operating out of a temporary location at 363 Orchard Street in the Fairgrounds Pavilion building. According to the email, they will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

If you are already registered, you can drop off your ballot at any of these locations. Additional information has been made available by the Walla Walla Elections Department.

The email then discussed both the importance of this election and the potential for social unrest and violence in its wake.

“I want to urge every member of our community to think carefully about their own safety and maintain situational awareness during and in the days following the election,” Murray wrote. “Here in Walla Walla, members of our local community have a broad range of political viewpoints and now is not the time to provoke conflict.”

She also encouraged students “to consider gathering online with others” rather than meeting in-person. As the email states, Walla Walla is currently experiencing an influx of new coronavirus cases.

The county has recently launched a new website with information in both English and Spanish on symptoms, testing, and additional community resources. You can refer to these websites or The Wire’s COVID-19 tab for additional information on both Walla Walla and Washington State.

The email then detailed a schedule for upcoming election-related programs. These are: Walla Walla Impact Series: Self Care Tips and Tricks on Monday, Nov. 2 at 12 p.m., Navigating Uncertainty Workshop (with the Whitman Counseling Center) on Monday, Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. and In-Person and Virtual Post-Election Counseling for Faculty and Staff (provided by Comprehensive Healthcare) starting Wednesday, Nov. 4 by appointment.

The Wire recently featured the ASWC led “Navigating Uncertainty Workshop.” Additional information can be found here.

The email concluded with an update to Whitman’s emergency response plan.

“[Whitman] will have an increased staff presence on campus and in the surrounding neighborhoods to respond to any issues that may arise the night of the election. If you see something that concerns you, please reach out to campus security at 509-527-5777. If you or someone else is in immediate danger, call 9-1-1. Students in emotional distress can reach the Counseling Center at 509-527-5195.”