Students with clipboards in hand were all over the Student Center this Monday through Thursday encouraging passersby to register to vote as part of a campus wide voter registration drive. The voter registration drive was a joint effort from all of the Greek councils and was hosted by Sigma Beta Rho, Alpha Phi Alpha, Alpha Kappa Alpha and Delta Upsilon.
At the voter registration drive, students, even those from out of state or out of county, can register to vote in the Student Center come November using their Tech mailbox address. Students who have never registered before are especially encouraged to sign up, but even students who had previously registered in their home county or who had signed up for an absentee ballot can fill out a change of address form and vote at Tech.
Sigma Beta Rho and Alpha Kappa Alpha hosted the voter registration drive last year before Super Tuesday, and they decided to hold another drive this year for the election. The other organizations joined in an effort to multiply the effect of the drive on campus. “We realized last year that a lot of people at Tech weren’t registered, and we figured that a large scale effort would be the best way to make sure everyone on campus could vote,” said Arun Duraiswamy, third-year BMED major and member of Sigma Beta Rho.
SGA is also involved in the effort to register students to vote. The SGA will be manning a table outside Bobby Dodd Stadium before the game against Mississippi State on Saturday. They are also trying to raise awareness about the issues and advertising the drives preceding the election.
Other drives are being held independently both by College Republicans and College Democrats. Tabling by the College Republicans focuses both on voter registration and recruiting new members to join College Republicans, while College Democrats were previously focusing more on simply encouraging voter registration.
The College Democrats are planning on tabling every Wednesday and Thursday in the Student Center until the last week of the registration period, when they will table every day. College Republicans plan to table on Skiles as often as possible until the election. College Democrats also have named dorm captains in each dorm who will have signs on their doors saying that they are available to talk about the election and give out registration materials to anyone interested.
Both organizations encourage everyone to vote regardless of political party. “While our focus is, of course, specifically to encourage Republicans to support our candidate and vote Republican, as Americans, we hope that everyone will participate in the election, Republican or not,” said Jason Middleton, president of College Republicans.
“We’re really just hoping to get more young people voting… this is the time for young people to really decide what they think for themselves about the issues and not just vote for a party because their parents did. Our goal is to cross party lines and really get everybody participating in the election,” said Jillian Gold, public relations director for College Democrats.
The goal of the voter registration drives is to get everyone on campus who is eligible to vote, registered and prepared to cast their vote come Nov. 4.
“A lot of students at Tech are either unaware of how the election process works or apathetic, but we hope that this drive will get people excited and voting,” said Sid Roy, fifth-year BMED and member of Sigma Beta Rho.