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Parkland Survivor Among Speakers to Discuss Voting Rights Oct. 25

October 18, 2018

A survivor of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting will join a Duke University alumna and an activist who’s a candidate for state Supreme Court to reflect on the challenges to student voting rights during a free public talk Thursday, Oct. 25, at Duke.

The panel discussion, “Student Voting Rights: Why They Matter,” will take place from 5:30-7 p.m. in Fleishman Commons at the Sanford School of Public Policy. Self-pay parking is available in the Bryan Center garage and surface lot. Gunther Peck, a Duke associate professor of public policy, will moderate the discussion, which will also include an audience Q&A. 

Panelists include:

Anita Earls, smilingAnita Earls, founder, Southern Coalition for Social Justice and candidate for the N.C. Supreme Court. Earls is responsible for litigating successful challenges to North Carolina voter laws and redistricting plans.

girl with brown hair, smilingSari Kaufman, student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, activist and survivor of the 2018 Parkland, Florida, school shooting. Kauffman’s response to the tragic shooting of her peers on Valentine’s Day has been to work to register thousands of student voters and mobilize to get them to the polls.

girl smilingSymonne Singleton (T’17), Duke alumna and disenfranchised voter. Singleton discovered her first vote didn’t count after her provisional ballot was thrown out even though she was told her vote would be recorded.

“Imagine if you are fired up to vote in the first election after turning 18, and you find out you were disenfranchised,” said Peck, director of the Hart Leadership Program. “Symonne had that happen to her in 2014 and now vows to work to make sure her experience isn’t repeated with other youth.

“These three passionate advocates for voting and fair political processes will provide a thorough examination of the challenges students face today in casting their ballots and having them counted.”

The event is part of Hart Leadership Program’s Connect2Politics series, which exposes students to a new generation of young political leaders. It is co-sponsored by the Sanford School.