By Kelly Sullivan
Secretary of State Sam Reed spoke at Whatcom on April 14 about the importance of young voter’s registration. He encouraged college students to become more involved in state and federal politics.
“It’s the young people that have the most at stake in terms of political policy,” said Reed.
Reed’s speech was part of College Civics Week, the annual week dedicated to educating young Washington State voters. Reed founded the week in 2005 after inspiration from the statistics of the 2004 Washington state race for governor, one of the closest gubernatorial races in U.S. history.
Of voters ages 18 to 24, only 68 percent turned out to vote, as opposed to the overall population which was 82 percent. Had the younger generations voted, perhaps there would have been more of a difference in the margin of votes.
“One thing that holds back young people are that they don’t know who to vote for,” said Reed.
Student Jesmeen Kaur, 19, who came after receiving an invitation from one of the student council members, said Reed’s speech was very informative. She commented that the statistics Reed gave about the involvement of young voters was what stuck with her the most.
Reed also touched upon the possible future of online voting, and announced the winner of the Civics Week “Get Out and Vote” poster contest. Tal Connors winning poster can be seen in the display case on the second floor of Syre.
Kris Baier, who helped coordinate the event, said that Chandler Batiste, Lea Thompson, and Andrew Nelson did a remarkable job planning and executing the event.
“Sam Reed’s staff was very impressed by the professionalism of Whatcom Community College because of the excellent planning and organization of these student leaders,” Baier added. “I was very proud to be a part of this outstanding event.”