With the presidential election of 2008 one year from now, the California College Democrats pushed voter registration on campuses all over California Wednesday. Here, the Cal Poly Democrats, along with Associated Students, Inc. and the Cal Poly College Republicans, assembled in the University Union Plaza to inform students on issues and to register them to vote.
Cal Poly Democrats President Erica Janoff believes that students have a voice and should use it.
“It’s really important to get students registered in San Luis Obispo. Whether it’s increased noise violation fines or changing bus schedules, we as residents are influenced by these issues but severely unrepresented in the polls,” Janoff said.
“There’s a discontinuity between student populations and those who actually go out and vote.”
Liberal studies junior Justin Hooper was one of the 100 students who registered to vote Wednesday.
“I really was given a convincing argument about how I am affected by what is passed here in San Luis Obispo,” Hooper said. “I had been putting off registering until now.”
In order to vote in the February primaries, students need to register by Jan. 26. The goal of ASI is to have 1,000 students registered to vote by this date, including the number of students registered by the campus political groups.
“We are 100 percent together at this voter registration event. We are just trying to get people to register,” said Angela Kramer, political science junior and elected College of Liberal Arts representative.
ASI has already been at Dusk ’til Dawn and CultureFest to register students.
“That goal is already n-quarter complete,” said Kolby Sagoe, secretary of legislative affairs and public policy grad student.
“We are really using any means necessary to reach this goal, like working events like this with the Democrats,” Sagoe said,
According to a poll done by Rock the Vote and Sacred Heart University, 18- to 30-year-olds are likely to play a major role in the 2008 elections, motivated to vote by concerns over the war in Iraq, health care, the economy and the cost of education. In 2004, 20.1 million 18- to 29-year-olds voted in the presidential elections. The youth vote had increased in 2006 by 1.9 million over 2002 levels.
Public policy grad student and Cal Poly Republican Hans Poschman believes that all students should be voting.
“We are here to get students involved in electing leaders, whatever their affiliation may be.”
The Cal Poly Democrats will be on Dexter Lawn Wednesday to get students to register, and the Cal Poly Republicans will also be registering voters during UU Hour on Thursdays along with ASI.
“We definitely want to try to do this as much as possible,” Janoff said. “If we can register even one person each day, that’s one more registered than if we would have not been here.”