Rock the Vote comes QU

By on October 10, 2012

The presidential candidates aren’t the only ones preparing for the elections in November.

Quinnipiac Democrats, a political group on campus meant to inspire students to engage in electoral and democratic processes, is offering voter registration forms and absentee ballots to students.

The group is acting along with SGA on behalf of the “Rock the Vote” movement, which is a nationwide campaign encouraging young adults, especially college students, to register to vote and take part in the elections.

“I am registered to vote, and I’m really excited,” junior Jermane Hughes said. “This will be the first election that I’m voting in, and I think it’s great that the university is giving students this opportunity.”

“Rock the Vote” not only engages young people in the electoral process, but also increases their awareness of important national and local issues.

“The Quinnipiac Democrats hope to educate students about politics on the state and federal level,” Quinnipiac Democrats Treasurer Jacob Nadeau said. “We act as a catalyst to help students become more involved in the political process. We have registered more than 35 students to vote so far.”

Many of these students registered last week when the group offered a table with information and registration forms.

“Students were able to fill the forms out right at the table, and I mailed them in,” Quinnipiac Democrats President Jamie Schnicker said. “This year, we also offered absentee ballots for New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts.”

An absentee ballot can be submitted ahead of time for anyone who is unable to vote in the town they are registered in. For many college students who are away from home, these ballots make it possible for their votes to count.

Filling out the application for an absentee ballot is a two-step process. First, students can go to longdistancevoter.org and print the application that corresponds to their area. The applications can then be mailed in by the student or submitted online. They can also be printed and given to Schnicker.

“What we try to do is provide the forms and make it really easy for the students,” Schnicker said. “All they have to do is fill it out, send it to me and I take care of the rest.”

Quinnipiac Democrats will offer registration forms and absentee ballots at the vice presidential Debate Watch this coming Thursday, Oct. 11, in the Carl Hansen Student Center Piazza at 8:30 p.m.

“I think offering absentee ballots on campus is a good idea because many college kids don’t go to school in their home state,” junior Lauren Glasheen said. “This way, they can get their voice heard without having to go home.”

The group will send the last wave of absentee ballots to their respective states by Oct. 15 to ensure that they will be received in time for Election Day. Students may contact Quinnipiac Democrats for more information, or fill their ballots at the Debate Watch on Oct. 11.

Debate Watch will also be held on Oct. 16, for the second presidential debate at the Carl Hansen Student Center Piazza, and on Oct. 22, for the third presidential debate at Rocky Top Student Center.

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