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First-time voters share their experiences, reactions in new social media series

Posted 22 Oct 2020

CONWAY, Ark. (Arkansas PBS) — As a continuation of Arkansas PBS’s “You Decide” civics education campaign, producers will follow first-time voters from the University of Central Arkansas from the beginning of early voting through post-election reflections for a social media series in conjunction with UCA Vote Everywhere and UCA Student Government Association (SGA).

The series of digital shorts on Instagram (@arkansas_pbs) and Facebook (@arkansaspbs) will focus on five UCA students – Layla Holloway, Ron Latina, Samantha Meidell, Jordan Mitchell and Ryan Taneja – voting for the first time. In addition to traditional college students, this group features one non-traditional student who is a naturalized citizen. Arkansas PBS will follow their voting journey and seek answers to questions like why voting matters, what issues they care about this election season, what they notice at the polls and how to engage other voters.

In addition to the first-time voters’ experiences, Arkansas PBS will feature public prompts and polls on social media, as well as highlights from other voters. Special coverage will also include UCA’s march to the polls Thursday, Oct. 22.

The series will launch on Instagram (@arkansas_pbs) and Facebook (@arkansaspbs) Oct. 21 and continue through Nov. 13, and be a collection of Instagram stories and IGTV videos, as well as Facebook stories and posts. A “You Decide – First-Time Voter” playlist will also be available at

Arkansas PBS has created a hub for civics education leading up to the 2020 elections to empower and engage voters, students and families. Tools, resources and an original digital series are available at

To help viewers make informed decisions, “Election 2020: Arkansas PBS Debates” – featuring candidates in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th U.S. Congressional Districts and U.S. Senate – and “Election 2020: Ballot Initiatives” are available at Major funding for “Election 2020: Arkansas PBS Debates” is provided by AARP Arkansas. Voter resources and additional information are available at

Additionally, Arkansas PBS educators have developed “Assemble” toolkits for parents and teachers to help guide and engage children through the civics process. “Assemble” explains how to create opportunities to talk with children about being a good citizen and the elections process early on, in turn helping to foster an understanding of how to ask questions, become an educated voter, and learn how to speak to other citizens in productive ways in order to problem solve. Several of the topics presented in “Assemble” are also featured in “Civics in a Minute,” a series of original digital shorts. These toolkits, videos and other resources are available at

Tools for educators can be found in Arkansas PBS LearningMedia: The Election Collection at

UCA is proud to be a Vote Everywhere campus. Vote Everywhere is a project of the Andrew Goodman Foundation and supports ongoing voter education and engagement on college and university campuses. UCA’s Vote Everywhere team consists of two student ambassadors and one campus champion.

Arkansas PBS is Arkansas’s only statewide public media network, which enhances lives by providing lifelong learning opportunities for people from all walks of life. Arkansas PBS delivers daily, essential, local, award-winning productions and classic, trusted PBS programs aimed at sharing Arkansas and the world with viewers through multiple digital platforms, including on-demand services and YouTube TV, and the distinct channels Arkansas PBS, Arkansas PBS Create, Arkansas PBS KIDS, Arkansas PBS WORLD and Arkansas PBS AIRS on SAP. Members with Arkansas PBS Passport have extended on-demand access to a rich library of public television programming. Arkansas PBS depends on the generosity of Arkansans and the State of Arkansas to continue offering quality programming. Additional information is available at Arkansas PBS is broadcast on KETS (Little Rock), KEMV (Mountain View), KETG (Arkadelphia), KAFT (Fayetteville), KTEJ (Jonesboro) and KETZ (El Dorado).