Tulane students must register to vote this election season
September 21, 2016
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The 2016 presidential election will be the first election in which most Tulane undergraduates are eligible to vote. If every person between the ages of 18-29 voted, it would be the largest voting block with 69 million votes. College-aged students will determine who sits in the Oval Office come January and which party will control Congress. With such a dynamic political landscape, students must vote and the first step is registering.
Tulane partnered with TurboVote to bring college students to the polls at the request of the Undergraduate Student Government, Tulane College Democrats and Tulane College Republicans. Students must take full advantage of this service to keep this program afloat.
TurboVote is an application developed by Democracy Works aimed at promoting civic engagement, particularly among college students. The service compiles registration and voting rules for all 50 states through an online platform through which students can easily register and request absentee ballots.
Since Tulane announced the partnership, 353 students have registered through the website at tulane.turbovote.org.
The youth voter turnout rate in our country is dismal and that needs to change with this polarizing election.
According to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, the voter participation rate for people aged 18-29 fell from 51 percent to 45 percent between the 2008 and 2012 elections. Voter turnout remains low currently despite heated primary contests.
Only 19.9 percent of this age group voted in the 2014 midterm elections, the lowest federal participation rate ever recorded.
Tulane currently has a one-year contract with TurboVote with the option to renew. To justify the financial cost of the partnership, Tulane administrators need to see a large volume of students using the program. Even students who are registered to vote should should TurboVote to request absentee ballots.
The Tulane and TurboVote partnership must not end after this year’s presidential election as the college aged students are vital for effecting social change and determining the outcomes of elections.
Young people should be motivated to vote in all elections, including city, county, parish and state contests.
Though Tulane’s undergraduate population is only a small portion of the millennial electorate, it is imperative that Tulane students take the initiative and vote this November and in the many elections to come.
Election Day must be a priority for all Americans, especially students who will experience the long-term results of today’s democratic process.