To encourage students to register to vote, ASI President Joi Sullivan created four videos highlighting the importance of voting and registering. |Courtesy photo/Associated Students, Inc.

Brooke Sperbeck

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Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) student government leaders are encouraging Cal Poly students to register to vote for state and national elections.

Their medium of choice? Video.

As part of the campaign, ASI has created a four-part video series that will be sent to students through emails and played on housing and dining televisions. The first video, which features ASI President Joi Sullivan rapping, was posted on ASI’s Facebook page Monday morning.

“The videos that we’re going to be rolling out not only encourage students to vote, but they explain why students need to vote and some of the issues that can affect them,” ASI Chief of Staff and agricultural business senior Jake Rogers said.

Voting could also get students involved in matters outside of campus, Rogers said.

“Here at ASI, we’re really interested in getting students engaged, and we feel that it’s really important for them to be engaged not only on campus, but off campus as well,” Rogers said. “One way we saw we could do that is through a voter registration and education drive.”

On Sept. 16, ASI partnered with the President’s Office to launch a voter registration drive as a way to increase the number of Cal Poly students registered to vote, Rogers said.

“The unique thing about our drive is all of our voter registration is completely online,” Rogers said.

The drive uses a service called Turbo Vote, a nonprofit organization that sets up personalized websites for universities across the nation where students can register to vote, Rogers said.  According to the Turbo Vote website, Cal Poly is one of 202 universities using the service.

Students can choose to register to vote in any city or state, not just in California. If a state does not have an online voter registry, Turbo Vote will send the student the necessary forms in the mail for free, Rogers said.

ASI had voter registration booths set up during Week of Welcome (WOW). Rogers said he and his executive cabinet plan to continue setting up weekly booths for students to register throughout the fall.

“We’re also going to have voter registration booths set up throughout campus — so there should be one in the library,” Rogers said. “We’ll have some set up on Dexter on certain days, in Metro, in the University Union, things like that.”

Business administration freshman Steven Andrews registered to vote at ASI’s booth at the WOW Club Showcase on Sunday. Andrews said he’s always wanted to register to vote, but never had the opportunity.

“I was looking for the opportunity and it was conveniently here right in front of me at the club fair,” Andrews said. “It was really easy, just follow the steps.”

Andrews, a San Diego native who registered to vote in his hometown by mail, said he is looking forward to voting in this year’s elections.

“I don’t have a party in mind or anything yet, but I want to be a part of the voting system, so I’m glad I registered today,” Andrews said.

Though Turbo Vote mails students absentee ballots for free, Cal Poly is paying to use the service, Rogers said.

“We partnered with the President’s Office on this, so ASI is the hands and feet and the voice and doing the work behind the drive, and the funding is coming from the President’s Office,” Rogers said.

As of mid-afternoon Sunday, Rogers said 160 students had registered to vote on the Turbo Vote site. ASI is hoping to have at least 2,000 students registered by Oct. 20, he said.

“At the very minimum, we would like to get 10 percent of the Cal Poly population, which is about 2,000 students, but we’re really trying to shoot for the stars on this and hoping to exceed that goal by quite a bit,” Rogers said.

Cal Poly students have been “really excited” about the new voter registration system, Rogers said, especially freshmen registering to vote for their first election.

“As soon as people have heard they have this opportunity and it only takes about 5 minutes, they’ve been super receptive,” Rogers said.

The campaign ends Oct. 20, the last day to register to vote for this year’s California general election.

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