Nearly 1,000 new registrations

Indiana voter registration comes to a close

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Nearly 1,000 new registrations

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The registration effort by Squawk the Vote registered 931 people to vote.

The effort came close the original 1,000 registration goal and Cynthia Brinker said everyone involved felt like it went very well.

“When you think about voting and when you think about the impact of decisions made by elected officials, many of these decisions are going to have an effect on people in college right now,” Brinker said. “That age group tends to not be an age group that votes a lot. It shows the number of people voting is much lower in the 18-22 age range.”

The vice president for government and community relations said Squawk the Vote focused on individual tablings whether it be under the University Center breezeway, at the involvement fair or during events such as the recent debate watch party.

Brinker said the interest came from wanting to get more people registered and knowing that there were some students on campus who would have their first chance to vote this year.

“We just wanted to make it easy for them,” Brinker said.

She said the biggest concern for her was seeing that there were some people who did not want to register. She said students would often say they didn’t know enough to make an informed decision.

“It is important for people to exercise their right to vote,” she said. “It’s a big election.”

She said everyone should take the time to use the resources around them to learn about who is on their ballot before election day.

“Take time to study it a little bit as opposed to just walking into the voting booth and picking a name,” she said. “Listen to the debates, (there is) a lot of information out right now.”

Teddi Rausch said she thinks a lack of information in terms of the voting process can also hinder someone’s ability to register and exercise their right to vote.

She said a lack of education can really discourage people from voting.

“It’s almost like voter suppression,” the president of the College Democrats said.

Rausch said before she joined the College Democrats she didn’t see much activity or opportunity to register to vote on campus. She said if more organizations jumped on board with the effort it could be even more successful.

“With that lack of effort from people on campus, I think people are just getting frustrated,” she said.

Rausch said she thought Squawk the Vote was an incredible effort, but one area she feels could have used more attention was absentee voting.

“Absentee ballot applications are the hardest thing to really accomplish in the sense of trying to make sure people send in those forms,” she said.

She said she felt the tabling the College Democrats did was successful in the sense that they were able to target a tabling focused on absentee voting.

For Daniel McMurtry uneducated voters was his biggest concern.

The College Republicans president said he believes there should be voter education in correspondence with registration.

“It’s one thing to get registered to vote,” he said, “but I don’t know if signing up a bunch of people who are uneducated on political issues is the best way.”

McMurtry said the College Republicans did not have much involvement with the event other than providing some talking points for an original promo video.

He said he believes the effort was well intentioned but he also believes people vote with their feelings and not their heads sometimes.

“Feelings get in the way of what actually makes sense,” McMurtry said. “Do the research to get past all the lies and banter, when you figure out what actually happens you end up being able to make a better informed decision.”

He said he feels it’s no secret that most people are brought up in a left-wing-biased public education system, but if they informed themselves they might not be liberal so easily.

“What I feel happens in this county is that we are taught to think with our feelings about morality,” McMurtry said. “Everyone has ‘my truth’ as opposed to what the country was built on, eternal truths.”

He said right now his group is in contact with the Young Americans for Liberty trying to put an event together focused on voter education. He said they would be able to explain some of the different ideologies to people and how they vary.

McMurtry said not all republicans follow the same line of platforms and the same with the other parties as well.

He said he does not believe the parties necessarily have to work together for political goals but they need to bring an ideological debate to the forefront.

“Our politics in America today have become who is the better person and by what measuring stick,” he said. “The debate of ideas, it’s not so much ideological debate, but character attacks.”

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