Is it alumni apathy?
I have voted every year in the trustee and alumni council elections for four decades.
In 2012 and each year since, I have had to fight to get my ballot, though we know for sure that Penn State knows where we are (snail mail, email, phone) due to our high level of volunteerism and donations.
Once again this year, many of us, including my daughter and I, had to track down the number to call and fight for a ballot.
Penn State administration cites voter/alumni apathy as the root of the problem.
If I were one of the more than 600,000 alumni, perhaps elderly, not on social media or even online rather than an active alumna with a four-decade history of voting, how would I have known a ballot should have arrived and or how to get one?
Our alumni have been steadily disenfranchised from the date Penn State stopped mailing ballots, inserting them in the Penn Stater magazine instead. That is the reason for declining alumni participation.
Where are the voting dates and the number to call if a ballot is not received publicized? Where is it publicized that ballots are sent via email; that they come not from the university but from Votenet?
Older alumni can still request a paper ballot by contacting Penn State, but they do not know this fact. So if Penn State wants alumni engagement, try alumni communications and relations.