Monday, Oct. 10 marked Elizabethtown College’s final attempt to help students on campus register for voting this year. The political clubs held a registration drive from 7 to 9 p.m. in Room 110 in the Hoover Center with the goal in mind to register as many students as possible in preparation for the 2016 Presidential election.
Over the course of the fall semester, volunteers have been spending time on campus encouraging Etown students to register to vote. The ability to obtain hard copies of registration forms and to go online has made the entire registration process on campus quite simple.
Over the course of the last month, students have had no shortage of opportunities to put in their information and register in either their home state or in the school’s state for their desired political party and candidate, whether Democratic, Republican, Libertarian or other. However, as Oct. 11 was the deadline for voter registration in Pennsylvania, the political clubs decided to go out with a bang by collaborating with one another to have one more attempt at reeling in as many potential voters as possible.
Attending the event Monday was sophomore College Democrats President Aileen Ida, who also serves as Features Editor at the Etownian, along with several other political club members in order to help students with the registering process. Junior College Republicans President Allie Vaccaro, sophomore Young Americans for Liberty President Amanda Hafler and sophomore College Democrats Vice President John Koons were among those who planned to attend and lend their assistance as needed.
“All the political clubs (Democrat, Republican, Libertarian) on campus feel it is essential to encourage young Americans to vote in such a historic electoral year,” Koons said. He noted that this election season has been quite “unique,” in that Democrats and Republicans alike have typically stood by their respective candidates throughout the entirety of the season in past years, while this year voters have been switching their support on both sides. Therefore, the three clubs all believe that this year is more important than ever for students to have their voices heard through voting, no matter who they support.
In addition to the registration drive and volunteers handing out registration forms at the Baugher Student Center to encourage people to vote, Hafler and some other students have also been involved in political campaigning as part of an electoral process class to get people on campus politically active. She has been volunteering as a Campaign Fellow support Hillary Clinton for the United States.
Last week’s Voter Registration Drive invited any students who had not yet registered for voting to come in and do so before the deadline.
The political clubs set up laptops in the room so that students could easily register online or request an absentee ballot if needed. Some snacks and drinks were also provided in the front of the room for students to enjoy over the course of the evening. Meanwhile, they could register and have one of the political club members nearby to answer questions and be of assistance.
According to Vaccaro, the main goal of the event was to “raise awareness for the importance of voting and celebrate political diversity on our campus.”
The start of the evening was slow for registration, but a few more students found time and made their way in to register during the latter half of the two hours available. While Koons mentioned that he was not extremely impressed by the turnout at the registration drive that evening, he said that overall the campus’s attempts to get students registered have been fairly successful and students have been interested in having their voices heard on a political level. “Each vote cast is another voice in the Democratic process,” he said in regard to the clubs’ efforts.
By encouraging everyone on campus to register this year, the political clubs have set out to show that all votes have importance and will help lead the country toward its future. Now that registration has ended in Pennsylvania, Election Day is just around the corner, landing this Nov. 8. So get ready, Etown. Here it comes.