Students promote registering to vote

Whatcom Community College wants to help students with voting information and registration with the Get Out the Vote campaign. With voter applications available in the library the ASWCC will also be actively tabling on campus.

ASWCC will set tables with information on voting in designated areas around campus throughout the month of October and into the first week of November.

“ASWCC student government has been tabling to get people registered and preregistered to vote in preparation for the 2019 General Election,” said ASWCC President Mario Alem, adding “we have helped many students to get registered and preregistered and we will be tabling once a week for the GOTV Campaign all the way until election day on Nov. 5.”

Students can preregister to vote as early as age 16. Those who preregister are automatically registered to vote on their 18 birthday.

“The ASWCC GOTV campaign also hopes to educate students on how they can participate in governance, both on and off campus,” Alem said, he added ASWCC Student Government will be collaborating with the League of Women Voters to table during the ASWCC GOTV campaign.

According to census.gov, 61.4 percent of the voting populace voted in 2012, that number increased to 61.8 percent in 2016. The U.S. Census website also reports 38 percent of women age 18-29 voted in 2018 and 33 percent of men of the same age group voted. Those age 65 or older turn out more often, 65 percent for women and 68 percent for men.

The Democratic voter-targeting firm Catalist projected about 156 million people could vote in 2020, and enormous increase from the 139 million voters in 2016.

Students at Whatcom Community College have a myriad of reasons to vote.

“This is my first time voting,” says psychology student Cyrus Hercules. He became interested while following the news. His fear of jobs disappearing is what grabbed his attention, though he said he doesn’t have a specific political side.

It’s not just concern for the future economy that has students active, some vote to be active in how the U.S. is shaped.

“I vote to make our country better in some sort of way.” Said Whitley Hawkins, who studies early education, and said she has been voting since 2008. Others have a much more involved perspective.

“I think that being an informed voter is a civil responsibility,” said psychology student Robert Goodin, who said he has been voting as often as he can since he turned 18.

“Especially in these polarizing times, it’s quintessential to support one’s opinion through the legislature.” He also believes our voting can seem archaic and ill designed, but that it is definitely important.

ASWCC Executive Board will present a local candidate forum on campus in the Heiner center Oct. 19, at 6 p.m. Candidates are running for mayor and county executive.

The next United States elections will be on Tuesday Nov. 5, with numerous citizen initiatives, mayoral races, and a variety of other local elections. There will also be special elections to the United States Congress for the recent vacancies in New York, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina.

There are many places to register and preregister to vote, any state or local election office, the DMV, armed forces recruitment centers, or state and public assistance offices can help anyone with valid State ID or driver license with registration. There is also the online method. Any internet search engine can provide a variety of websites which can assist in voter registration.


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