(Editor's note: GNAC media release)
PORTLAND, Ore. – In order to promote civic engagement at all member schools, the CEO Board of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference has canceled all athletically-related activities on Election Day in the United States, Tuesday, November 3.
All practices, team meetings and other countable athletically-related activities will not be held to allow all student-athletes the opportunity to vote in the federal election. The conference also encourages all student-athletes to educate themselves on polling places, or the absentee voting process if they are attending school out of state, before November 3.
The declaration follows the recommendation of the NCAA Board of Governors, which has encouraged member institutions and conferences to assist students in registering to vote and designating November 3 as a day off for voting.
“For many of our student-athletes, this will be the first time that they will be able to exercise their civic duty and vote in a national election,” said GNAC commissioner Dave Haglund. “It is important that we as a conference provide them the time to go to the polls, or fill out their vote-by-mail ballots, and participate in the democratic process.”
Three states in GNAC Country, Alaska, Idaho, and Montana, have Election Day voting at polling sites. Oregon and Washington have been longtime vote-by-mail states. All states allow residents to request an absentee ballot.
The GNAC includes the NCAA’s only Canadian institution in Simon Fraser University. While no federal election is taking place in Canada on November 3, the conference encourages student-athletes to use the day to become better acquainted with the Canadian election process, to make sure they are registered to vote and engage in other community service and civic activities.