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Social Work exhibit shows that every vote counts

- October 9, 2006

Students at the School of Social Work are demonstrating that, in Connecticut, every vote counts, even if the vote is the result of a coin toss.

In August, Democrats in the 41st District of Connecticut let a coin toss break a tie between Elissa Wright and Rita Schmidt, who were running for state representative.

Wright won. Inspired by the overly simple way the results of this election were determined, interns in Professor Nancy A. Humphreys' Institute for Political Social Work have used the toss to demonstrate the importance of voter registration.

The display travels up the staircases in both the School of Social Work and the undergraduate building at the Greater Hartford Campus.

Each stair displays a question including "Do you think decisions about stem cell research should be determined by the flip of a coin?"

A poster hangs halfway up the stairs, telling students and faculty how the Democratic state representative was selected.

The UConn School of Social Work is using the display as part of a school-wide effort to encourage master's degree students who are in field placement to perform some kind of voter registration project in the field before the Oct. 24 deadline.

The exhibit will be on display until Nov. 7.

Voter registration will take place at the Greater Hartford Campus for undergraduate faculty and students Oct. 10-12, beginning at noon.

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