Vote Your Voice

Published: October 05, 2020

“What are your personal roles in this charged political environment—as college students, adults, and American citizens?”

This question, posed by Queensborough Community College’s Political Science Professor, Peter Bales, regularly sparks discussion about the election, recent chaotic debate, and the growing uncertainty about COVID, especially now that President Trump has tested positive for the virus.

“The speed of the news cycle has served to drive home points I made to my students earlier in the semester: Follow current events, develop informed opinions and vote your voice.”

Queensborough’s student body has roots in 127 countries of origin, with 78 native languages represented. Many are the first in their family to attend college.

“Our students come to Queensborough from all over the world, eager to learn about America’s system of government, the Constitution of the United States and the Declaration of Independence.”

Bales, a resident of Long Island’s North Shore, has taught at Queensborough since 2000. His courses taught are ‘Growth of American Civilization I & II’, ‘American Government and Politics’, and ‘Recent American History’. As with everyone else, the virus has turned his life upside down; although for me, he explained, 'It has had some surprising advantages."

“Once I learned the new formats and dynamics, I was able to structure the classes in a non-traditional (asynchronous) way so that students are able to do their work without “attending class” at a specific time. This is actually more efficient, especially for the writing intensive class.”

Bales studied at Northwestern University, then received an M.A. in from Long Island University. He obtained his doctorate from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

He is also an accomplished comedian, who has performed stand-up comedy for over 30 years, combining factual, humorous takes on U.S. history at countless comedy clubs, corporate functions, and colleges across the country. He has also appeared on a variety of networks, including Comedy Central, Lifetime, FOX, A&E, VH1, MTV, and SiriusXM.

Nowadays, he performs Zoom shows. “It’s like performing in a hermetically sealed box,” he said.

“I am a very positive person by nature and I remind my students—and myself—that this is not the Civil War, not the Depression or World War II. Democracy is messy. We’ve been in difficult political times before and we will move forward.”

“And we can help steer that ship forward by voting. My message to my students is this: Make up your own mind for yourself and vote. It is the least you can do for your country.”

Bales will provide live commentary and analysis on election night, November 3, on Queens Public Television (QPTV).

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Registration deadlines
Online: Oct. 9
By mail: Postmarked by Oct. 9
In person: Oct. 9

Absentee ballot deadlines
Request: Received by Oct. 27
Return by mail: Postmarked by Nov. 3
Return in person: Nov. 3 by 9:00 p.m.

Early voting
October 24-Nov. 1, but dates and hours may vary based on where you live

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