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KNOXVILLE — ‘Speak Out’ is a chance for UT students and others to “get up on a soapbox” and voice their opinions about the upcoming election. The event takes place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 31 at the Joe Johnson Pedestrian Walkway in between Hodges Library and Humanities Plaza, and is being sponsored by the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy.

Speak Out is a continuation of the Baker Center’s “Vote -– It’s Your Future” campaign and follows last month’s voter registration drive, which signed up more than 640 voters on campus.

Baker Center Senior Teaching Fellow Michael Fitzgerald, a political science professor, will moderate Speak Out.

“Speak Out gives students an excellent forum to discuss their views on the big issues of this year’s election,” said Georgia Varlan, a sophomore Baker Scholar. “Students often hear various groups from off-campus expressing their views to us on the Pedestrian Walkway. It will be exciting for students to have the chance to voice our opinions to our peers on issues that affect us as college students and as Tennesseans.”

Baker Center Assistant Director Nissa Dahlin-Brown said campus political groups have been asked to lead off the event to encourage student participation.

“Speak Out is occurring at an important political time on campus, the day early voting begins at the University Center,” Dahlin-Brown said.

Early voting for Knox County registered voters will be held in the Carolyn Brown lounge on the second floor of the University Center from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 31-Nov. 2.

Amy Blakely, (865) 974-5034,