Vote your heart out

Who’s on the ballot, what’s at stake and how to get involved

Emily DiSalvo, Arts and Life Editor

Coined “the most consequential election in American history” by Atlantic Magazine, the 2020 presidential election between former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump isn’t one you’re going to want to watch from the sidelines. If you haven’t decided who you’re going to vote for, it is important to get educated on the issues at stake.

Whether you are a single-issue voter or you like to focus on the bigger picture, it is important to get the facts on where the candidates stand on key issues before making your decision who to vote for.

Design by Michael Clement (information from and

Local campaigns to support

All of the following politicians are running for Connecticut state office positions that encompass all or part of Hamden. If you vote as a Hamden resident, it is important to become acquainted with their positions. Consider getting involved with their election efforts.

Dr. Lisa Burns, professor of media studies, said that the local government responses to the COVID-19 pandemic prove these down-ballot races are just as important as the national ones.

“Your governor and your state legislature have a lot of power to determine your day-to-day life and what’s happening,” said Burns, who is currently teaching a course in political communications. “It is important to do that research. If college students plan to still vote at home, make sure you are checking your local media…they have election pages and you can get this information and find out about these races.”

Weruché George

Democrat running for 91st House district

Weruché George is a Quinnipiac graduate and resident of Hamden for the past 15 years. She is a petitioning candidate running against an incumbent Democrat. George’s main agenda includes racial justice and equality for all, women’s rights, education and environmental justice.

George encouraged all Quinnipiac students to get involved with her campaign. She is looking for volunteers to phone bank, drop off lawn signs, help people register to vote and campaign on social media.

“We need residents in District 91 — Hamden to vote, vote, vote,” George said. “We need help to get the word out there that we’re running to build a better community for Hamden residents.”

To learn more about George and to sign up to volunteer visit or email George at [email protected] .

Mike D’Agostino

Democrat incumbent running for 91st House district

Mike D’Agostino was elected to the Connecticut State House of Representatives in 2012 after serving many years on the Hamden Board of Education. He currently serves as assistant majority whip and owns a private law practice in Hartford. D’Agostino is running on a continuation of his previous efforts related to workers advocacy, education and investing in working families.

To learn more about D’Agostino or to get involved in his reelection visit

George Logan

Republican incumbent running for 17th Senate district

George Logan has been serving in the Connecticut State Senate since 2017. He is up for reelection this November and is running on his support for police and opposition to raising taxes.

To learn more about Logan and to get involved in his reelection campaign visit .

Jorge Cabrera

Democratic challenger running for the 17th Senate district

Jorge Cabrera is a Democrat challenging George Logan’s reelection efforts.  He is running on living wages, quality healthcare, equitable schools and a clean environment.

To learn more about Cabrera and to get involved in his campaign visit .

Information from Ballotpedia (Design by Michael Clement)

Kathy Hoyt

Republican challenger running for the 88th House district

Kathy Hoyt is a Republican hoping to unseat Democrat Joshua Elliot in the 88th District. She was born in New Haven and raised in Hamden. Hoyt is committed to ending partisan politics, taking fiscal responsibility, educating children, creating jobs and supporting veterans.

To learn more about Hoyt and to get involved with her campaign visit .

Joshua Elliott

Democratic incumbent serving the 88th House district

Joshua Elliott has been serving as a representative for the 88th District since 2017, and he serves at Assistant Majority Leader. He attended Hamden High School and got his law degree at Quinnipiac. Elliott hopes to legalize recreational marijuana, equalize property rates and create a more equitable tax structure.

To learn more about Elliott’s reelection efforts and to get involved in the campaign visit .

Why (and how) you should vote

Why should young people vote?

Millennial voting increased from 22% in the 2014 midterms to 42% in the 2018 midterms. While still below 50%, this is a large percentage for a non-presidential election year. In this year’s presidential election, some scholars are expecting a big turnout of Gen Z and Millennial voters.

“There are plenty of signs that young Americans could play a major role in the 2020 election, helping to determine the outcome of the race between Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden, as well as political control of Congress, and beyond,” Kathleen Struck wrote in Voice of America News. “Their record turnout in the 2018 midterm elections, signs of political activism, and a handful of issues being used as a rallying cry, including soaring college debt, health care and climate change, stand as evidence.”

Young people have previously been hesitant to vote because politicians have failed to discuss issues that they care about — student loan debt, healthcare, social justice issues and the environment, according to Burns.

“I think young people care about the issues,” Burns said. “It’s making the connection between caring about the issues and going to the polls to vote and support a candidate.”

Burns identified the three big issues at stake this election to be the economy, the pandemic and social justice issues.

“Those three issues are incredibly important to young voters,” Burns said. “We are not only talking about the current state of things — the pandemic, how the pandemic is being handled, how it impacts the economy for young people trying to find a job and keeping their jobs … I also think that social justice issues have been giving a lot of lip service in previous campaigns but given everything that has happened this year and the growing consciousness of systemic racism, I think young voters care about changing the laws.”

If you plan to vote in Connecticut


You must register to vote in Connecticut by Oct. 27, whether you plan to vote in person or by mail. In addition to the voter registration drives student organizations are holding on campus, you can register on “Connecticut’s Official Online Voter Registration” website.

Vote Remotely

If you plan to vote remotely in Connecticut and you are already registered in Connecticut, an application will be automatically mailed to your address. This is not a ballot. If you would like to receive an absentee ballot in the mail, you can fill out the application and mail it to your town clerk’s office. Your town clerk must receive your application early enough so you can receive your absentee ballot in the mail and return it by Nov. 3, either by mail or using a ballot box at city hall. Use this option if you do not feel comfortable turning out to the polls because of COVID-19. In Connecticut, the pandemic is considered an acceptable reason to request an absentee ballot, per an executive order by Gov. Ned Lamont.

If you have a mail-in ballot, it is crucial you fill it out correctly so your vote is counted. Fill in the oval as instructed next to your candidate of choice. Sign the envelope with a neat signature.

Vote at the polls

If you plan to vote here at school, be sure you are registered in Hamden to vote. On Nov. 3, bring an ID like a driver’s license or a piece of mail with your name and address. The polling location for Quinnipiac students is Miller Library on 2901 Dixwell Ave.

If you plan to vote from a state other than Connecticut

Check registration deadlines for your state and if your state will automatically send out applications or ballots and look up when they are due.

You are eligible for an absentee ballot, simply because you are away at school. If the application for the ballot is sent to your home, try to get a parent or someone else living at home to mail it to you here as soon as possible so you can send it in before the deadline.

Regardless of how you decide to vote this year, it is crucial that you plan ahead. Make a voting plan, mark the deadlines in your calendar and then pretend that they are actually a week earlier than noted. There is a lot at stake this year and voting is one way to make your voice heard.

“It is your voice,” Burns said. “If you don’t vote, you basically have given up your voice and not expressed yourself. If you didn’t vote at all then you denied yourself. If you care about these issues, whatever you care about, find that candidate that closely aligns to you as possible.”

Design by Michael Clement