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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

ACC Elections Policy Center Informing Voters

When it comes to municipal elections, only a fraction of voters in Brazoria County turnout to cast their ballots.

Hoping to increase voter participation as well as inform them about what’s on the ballot, Alvin Community College faculty and staff members created the Election and Policy Center with a $1,000 Innovative Initiative Grant from the ACC Foundation.

“Only 7 percent of registered voters in Brazoria County came to the polls during the May elections,” Communications Coordinator John Tompkins said. “That means out of every 100 voters, only seven decided who would be on city councils, the school boards or other government entities.”

The Innovative Initiative Grants are designed to encourage, facilitate, recognize and reward innovative and creative approaches to fulfill the mission of Alvin Community College. The grants will be used for the 2014-15 academic year. The Foundation began issuing the grants in 2012.

The Elections and Policy Center will use the Innovative Initiative Grant for printing costs for a voter guide that will be distributed throughout Brazoria County. The guides will include information about all of the candidates in the May and November elections including their hometown, public service experience as well as the position’s term length and pay.

“In addition, they will find out the goals of the candidates who are running," Government instructor Elizabeth McLane said. "Voters also can learn about local offices and what their functions are.”

The grant will also fund two stipends for students who will compile the candidate questionnaires for the voting guide.

Alongside the candidate information, students from ACC Government courses will also submit research papers on elections and public policies that will be published in the guides.

“Having students participate with the publication gives them valuable experience with local officials and education about the formation of public policies whether it’s a tax investment zone proposal or a city charter amendment,” Tompkins said.

Non-partisan voting guides are often available with information on state and national elections. Providing a local election guide will hopefully spur voter interest in their city, county and school board races, Tompkins said.

“Our local governments provide many services to constituents,” he said. “And it’s important for those constituents to know as much as they can about the candidates in their local races.”

In addition to the guides, the Election and Policy Center will help sponsor public events that will include candidate forums and guest speakers.

For more information about the center, please call 281-756-3551 or e-mail

Campus Events Calendar

«October 2015»

October 3, 2015

ACC will host its annual Student Leadership Conference on October 3 at the Nolan Ryan Center from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information 281-756-3686.
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October 7, 2015

ACC will host the Dolphin Wing Fling to teach students about the dangers of drinking and driving on October 7 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. outside the Student Center.
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October 8, 2015

Registration for the second mini semester for fall will end on October 8. For more information call 281-756-3500 or visit
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10/10/2015 - 10/17/2015

October 10-17, 2015

Drama productions of Getting Sara Married will run from October 10-17 at the ACC Theatre. All performances start at 7:30 p.m. There will be a 2:30 p.m. performance on October 11. For more information or to purchase tickets visit:
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October 15, 2015

Free screenings, flu shots and healthcare information will be made available to the public during the Fall Fitness Fair on October 15 in the Science/Health Science Building from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information call 281-756-5660.
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October 24, 2015

ACC will host its 40th Annual Fall Festival and Zombie 5k Fun Run on October 24 on the college campus from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. For more information or to sponsor a booth, call 281-756-3600.
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