The first week of early voting brought the creation of the Vote Safe 2020 social media campaign webpage, started by both the College of Medicine and the Hobby School of Public Affairs.
The College of Medicine reached out to the Hobby School to create this webpage for information regarding the 2020 election and how to stay safe in the meantime.
“This campaign shares educational voting graphics and leverages the creativity of our students at the Hobby School and the College of Medicine by featuring short student videos that provide important safety and logistical information about voting in Harris County,” said Hobby School Dean Kirk Watson.
“As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hobby School felt a responsibility to equip our community with trusted medical information so voters can feel safe and informed about participating in the election,” Watson added.
This was an opportunity to leverage the medical expertise from the College of Medicine and the civic engagement expertise of the Hobby School faculty according to Hobby School of Public Affairs program director Chelsea O’Hara.
With the social media campaign, Vote Safe 2020 offers information to voters regarding safety precautions at voting sites and lets voters in the know to reduce voting times at the polls.
“The information shared in the Vote Safe campaign seeks to equip voters with relevant tips to limit their potential exposure to COVID-19 by encouraging people to follow safety guidelines and reduce their time at polling locations,” O’Hara said.
“These tips include encouraging people to take advantage of the 100+ early voting locations in Harris County, review their sample ballot, and to wear masks or face coverings while at the polls to protect themselves, election workers and other voters,” O’Hara added.
The information provided is centered around Harris County voters, which applies to many UH students.
The campaign covers mail-in ballots, drive thru voting, safety protocols, sample ballots, COVID-19 protections and more.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has created a unique voting situation,” O’Hara said.
“While resources have previously been shared with students about how to engage in the voting process, it’s my understanding that resources specifically dedicated to health and safety while voting have not been prepared for students prior to this election cycle.”