by Kaci Parker
As Marlins, we are actively looking for a way to become involved within the community and to prove that we are adults. By registering to vote, students throughout campus may now place their trust in a candidate who shares their political viewpoints and opinions on controversial subjects. Therefore, a team of passionate students has decided to take matters into its own hands and spread the word through setting up voter registration drives.
“I just talk to them and let them know why voting is important, as it helps shape the future for them and their families. Being part of the team to register students has allowed me to spread the knowledge of voting and all that pertains to it, to the next generation of voters,” said senior Owen James.
A handful of students are highly dedicated to spreading the word throughout our community. They feel it is of great importance and that it makes our campus unique.
“I believe that one of the qualities that separates our campus from the others is how civically engaged our students are. Voting in local, state and national elections is just one way our students can get involved on an individual basis,” said senior Jessica Mackey.
All of the students have a drive within them that makes helping run the tables a great experience for all involved. It motivates them to educate their fellow peers about a topic they are passionate about.
“I am passionate, because with so much happening in our country and around the world, it is imperative that we exercise our right to vote. In 2008, I didn’t vote, and I was not able to take part in the history-making event that election year. I’m making up for it now, and spreading the word is just part of making amends,” said James.
As part of spreading the word, members sitting behind the voter registration tables are very approachable and proactive in sharing their knowledge of the process with students across campus.
“I will encourage all students to register to vote. Voting is a right we are given as Americans, and it’s a right we shouldn’t take for granted when hundreds of thousands of people across the world are fighting for their right to vote every day,” said Mackey.
When students approach their table, the members of this team ensure them they are making the right decision and help to guide them through the appropriate steps. They express the importance of voting and what it has meant to them.
“To me, voting is the most important job we as Americans have, as we pick who our leaders are. It is a sacred job that we must not take lightly,” said James.
Students have multiple opportunities to register to vote during campus events, such as the freshman festival and the club fair. The process of registering has been simplified by having all the materials the students need easily at their disposal.
“I think by providing an easily acceptable solution for registering to vote, greatly enhances a student’s willingness to register. They did not have to go anywhere. It was as simple as filling out a form and copying an I.D.,” said Mackey.
So far, the tables they have set up at campus events have greatly benefited students.
“We registered over 40 students in less than two and a half hours,” said James.
It is still not too late to register.
“Students, faculty and staff are more than welcome to come by the Community Service Office and fill out an application. We will be doing walk-ins. However, due to state election laws that mandate that you must be registered 30 days before election, time is of the essence. Please don’t wait to register,” said James.
Have your voice heard. Register to vote by Oct. 14 and participate in the next election on Nov. 4.