Today will be the first of two voter registration events outside of Lottie from 4:30-7 p.m.
The event is hosted by the Messiah College Democrats and Messiah College Republicans. Besides registering students for this year’s election, members from both groups will be present to answer questions.
“We’ll be guiding students through the process of voting, whether they need help registering or need help filling out an absentee ballot,” says Tori Bateman, the Vice President of Messiah College Democrats.
In Pennsylvania, absentee ballots must be received by November 4 to count toward the presidential election. Voting locations will be open from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Election Day (November 8) as well.
This year, Pennsylvania is considered a “swing” state meaning voting could go either way.
“If students care passionately about the future of the country and which candidate is elected then they should definitely take the time to vote specifically in Pennsylvania,” Bateman explains.
“I feel the biggest misconception that students have about voting is that their votes don’t count,” says President of Messiah College Republicans, Kevin Wilcox. “Media sources appear to be consistently saying that the 2016 election will be close, so if you are in the ‘my vote doesn’t count camp,’ I encourage you to re-think your options and vote for what you believe in. Your vote only doesn’t matter if you don’t vote!”
A recent Franklin and Marshall College poll found Clinton ahead of Trump in Pennsylvania 47% to 40%. When compared with other candidates, Clinton held a 41% lead in Pennsylvania over Trump’s 38%, Libertarian Gary Johnson’s 7% and Green Party nominee Jill Stein’s 2%.
Bateman says it’s important to remember that registering to vote does not necessarily mean registering as a republican or democrat. Anyone can register as an independent, any of the third parties, or no affiliation.
“It can be an expression of your willingness to participate in your government and the democracy we have, not necessarily a partisan statement,” she says.
“Regardless of how students vote, students are America’s future,” adds Wilcox. “How we vote now affects the nation we will have careers and families in. We’re the future of this nation, so we should begin shaping that future as soon as we can.”
Voter registration forms are also available online at http://www.eac.gov/voter_resources/register_to_vote.aspx. You can find more specific PA voting information at http://www.brennancenter.org/issues/student-voting or http://www.yourvoteyourvoice.org/ .
The MC Democrats and MC Republicans will be holding another voter registration event on October 6 from 4:30-7 p.m. outside of Lottie. Registration will also be available at their various Debate Viewing Parties on September 26, October 4 and October 9. Also, be sure to check out the Facebook pages for Messiah College Republicans and Messiah College Democrats for more information about upcoming events, guest speakers and other election opportunities.
Stay tuned for an article in the Swinging Bridge magazine that profiles Clinton, Trump, Johnson and Stein coming out on September 30.
Pug lover, Christ-follower, runner and peanut butter enthusiast.