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Student canvassers get out the vote

WINSTED — Costumed and equipped with buckets of candy, eight student canvassers from the Office of the Community Lawyer knocked on hundreds of Winsted doors this Halloween. But unlike their peers, these students were not trick-or-treating. They were reminding residents to vote in the town’s Nov. 3 municipal election.

The canvassers targeted a list of registered voters who did not vote in the 2005 or 2007 municipal elections. Intending to break this trend, the students visited the doors of these likely non-voters and skipped residents who have been voting in recent municipal elections.

The canvassers were Hallee Griffin, Melanie Louis, Sarah Lekang, Sarah Martin, Sage Hahn, Amy Farkas, Rachel Skonieczny and Madeline Moulton from Northwest Regional High School and Pearson Middle School.

Although not able to vote themselves, these canvassers encouraged hundreds of registered voters to do their civic duty. They distributed more than 800 fliers informing residents of the date, time and location of the election, as well as candy wrapped in slogans such as “Get Out and Vote!” and “Your Vote Counts!”

The effort took aim at low voter turnout in recent Winchester municipal elections. Turnout was less than 40 percent in 2005 and 2007. At the national level, less than two-thirds of eligible U.S. voters cast a ballot in 2008, which was more than usual.

The writer is an intern at the community lawyer’s office.

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