STUDENTS GET A CHANCE TO REGISTER AND LEARN ABOUT VOTING RIGHTS
By Claire Underwood, Staff Writer
National Voter Registration Day was last Tuesday, and Mason took part in the celebrations.
This event focused on informing people about their right to vote and enabling them to register before they miss the Oct. 18 deadline.
The celebration was primarily run by volunteers, making it a very community-based event. One group responsible for hosting the event was NextGen Virginia. This organization educates others on college campuses about the importance of voting.
Two Mason students involved with NextGen Virginia, Caroline Simpson and Kara Kline, said they wanted to volunteer to make sure everyone fulfills their civic duty and to inform people that GMU has its own voting location on campus.
Simpson and Kline also believe that by enabling students to register to vote on campus, they can help them learn about why people vote and the importance of voting in a fun, social way.
The organization coaxed people to their table with dogs that they could play with. Volunteers also offered ice cream once students registered to vote, which helped entice some students.
Volunteers also stated that they wanted to offer fast and convenient registration to students who may not be able to register elsewhere. Many students seemed to appreciate the availability and importance of on-campus voter registration.
One transfer student, Sam, said she appreciated the opportunity to register and vote on campus because it was most convenient for her, and that she thinks voting is an important part of being a citizen. Sam said that she wanted to be able to vote on campus because she has become more conscious about the importance of voting since the last presidential election. She hopes that registering to vote on campus will make her more aware of other elections, such as gubernatorial or congressional elections.
Another student, Hunter, expressed similar views. He said that voting was important because “if you don’t vote, things can’t go your way, and you need to get your word out.” Hunter also said that the option of on-campus voter registration was most convenient for him.
It was the general consensus of volunteers and new student voters that voting is a citizen’s obligation. Terry, another attendee, said, “voting is a right that people have had to fight to get, and it is one’s duty to participate in the voting process.”
“America has a government ‘for the people, by the people,’” he continued, “and if the majority of citizens choose not to vote, the true desires of the people will not be recognized.”
Photo Courtesy of Mason Creative Services