There was quite a buzz Tuesday in the Union Underground, as many students gathered there for free coffee, donuts and the opportunity to register themselves to vote. Members of the university College Democrats and Republicans set up booths at the event along with the League of Women Voters and Loud Light. Each group had the simple goal of encouraging Washburn students to register themselves to vote for the upcoming general election Tuesday, Nov. 5.
The event coincided with National Voter Registration Day, which encourages people nationwide to register themselves to vote in their local areas. For Washburn, the focus is primarily upon the student body, as most young people do not bother registering, let alone voting.
“Young people have a lot of power if they would just use it. They represent a big portion of the population and they can actually have whatever they want in an election if they actually showed up to vote,” said Anita Austin, the program director of Loud Light.
The importance of being able to vote in our country cannot be understated, as it is the bedrock of our democracy, and it gives all citizens a chance to participate in how the country is run.
“You should be able to participate in any political affairs. National, statewide, citywide, we should be able to exercise our right to vote because that’s the freedom we’re given. Since we have the opportunity to, we should exercise that freedom,” said Dawson Heymans, freshman psychology major.
Though National Registration Day has come and gone, the opportunity to register to vote online is still open at www.ksvotes.org. The website also allows changes to be made in party status and updates in any personal information for the next election cycle.
The general election will be for the local city council and school board. Students can register and vote in the election until Oct. 15, which is the final day to register in Kansas.
Edited by Adam White, Shelby Hanson, Jessica Galvin