Carnegie Mellon Press Release: May 4, 2004
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Press Release

Contact:
Jonathan Potts
412-268-6094

For immediate release:
May 4, 2004

Carnegie Mellon Students Get Out the Vote

PITTSBURGH—A group of Carnegie Mellon University students has created a Web site to help fellow students and others register to vote, regardless of where they live.

The Web site, www.hss.cmu.edu/registertovote/, was developed by students in the Freshman Seminar on Voting Theory, taught by Teddy Seidenfeld, the Herbert A. Simon Professor of Philosophy and Statistics. The project grew out of a study of how voter registration requirements vary from state to state and how seminal models of voting behavior apply to the Internet.

"It allows us as a class to do something for the university. A lot of students, especially underclassmen, just don't know how to go about registering to vote. We went around the class and and a lot of us weren't registered," said Christopher Millet, the project director and an Information Systems major from New York City.

The Web site lists the requirements to register to vote in each of the 50 states, including 2004 registration deadlines. Millet said he hopes to be able to update the Web site every year. Carnegie Mellon students using the site will learn that they can use their campus address to register to vote in Pennsylvania. This is particularly important for out-of-state students who have never previously registered to vote, because some states require residents to register for the first time in person.

"Knowing that they can use their residence hall addresses to register in Pennsylvania will, I hope, increase the voter turnout for the campus community," Seidenfeld said.

Freshman seminars, which are offered by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (H&SS) at Carnegie Mellon, are taught by senior faculty and address, in-depth, a single topic. Enrollment in a seminar is limited to 15 students. H&SS is the second largest academic unit at Carnegie Mellon and offers more than 60 majors and minors. The college emphasizes interdisciplinary study in a technologically rich environment, with an open and forward-thinking stance toward the arts and sciences.

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