HOLLY SPRINGS, MISS. — Much like the rest of the region, election day in Holly Springs has been anything but normal. This is especially true for the students who reside on the campus of Rust College, a historically black liberal arts college.
During a typical year, almost 500 scholars would gather to march to the polls. Unfortunately, with COVID-19 infections on the rise, the annual event had to be canceled.
Rust College’s administration sprung into action and devised a plan so that students would still be able to exercise their democratic rights.
The Marshall County Circuit Clerk’s office, led by Monet Autry, worked alongside the school to distribute absentee ballots to students who requested the form and were already registered to vote.
Dr. A.J. Stovall, head of the Social Sciences Division at Rust College, said civic engagement is a vital part of the student experience.
“We had about 220 (newly registered) students (voters) on our list,” says Stovall, “and right about 350 that had already registered.”
Additionally, some staff members volunteered to transport the students who wished to vote in person at the polling place.
As the clock ticks down on election day 2020, many themes have emerged, including who gets access to voting, and which votes get counted.
At Rust College, students learned this year there are ways to ensure your voice is heard and your ballots count.