Vote or Die … or at least vote.

Laura Wong
Voice Your Vote chairman Mike Forster displays a sample ballot. The organization has increased its efforts to encourage voter turnout on campus. (Shubra Ohri/Daily)

The national movement to register and mobilize the youth voters
of America is growing rapidly and is becoming increasingly hard to
ignore. Since 2000, 14 million young people have turned 18 and are
eligible to vote. Though America’s youth has a record of poor
voter turnout in the past, students hope to change this tradition
in this year’s election.

With youth voters making up more than 8 percent of
America’s voting population, activists recognize that the
young Americans could make the key decision in this heated
election. National groups like Choose or Lose, Democracy Matters,
Rock the Vote, Declare Yourself and countless others are motivating
America’s newest swing voters. But why leave it all to P.
Diddy?

Students have brought this honorable, though somewhat
irritating, phenomenon to our very own campus. With Voice your Vote
members everywhere in shirts that state simply “November
2,” Michigan students are finding it difficult to forget even
momentarily of the upcoming election.

Voice Your Vote is by no means new to campus. As a nonpartisan
organization, this group, which is commissioned by the Michigan
Student Assembly, has registered voters for at least the past five
years. But with only 44 percent of Michigan’s youth voting in
2000’s presidential election, the efforts of this
organization have heated up considerably. With the help of about
200 volunteers, they have registered 10,038 voters and have
educated an unprecedented number of students on how to vote —
and that’s only phase one. Now with every day that Nov. 2
draws nearer, Voice Your Vote plans on educating, motivating, and
mobilizing the largest voter turnout in Ann Arbor history.

Visibility is a key goal, so just in case you somehow
didn’t see them before, Voice Your Vote members are going to
saturate campus. If you thought you saw the last of the
blue-shirted enthusiasts on the Diag, in front of the Union, in
your cafeterias, and speaking in your lecture halls you would be
severely mistaken. Get ready to find voting information hanging on
your door, in your e-mail, on the phone, on pens and even on
ping-pong balls. The group is coordinating a mass effort to make
sure that the University student body doesn’t forget to vote.
They will be giving out sample ballots, distributing information
explaining where students can vote and how they can get there;
basically doing everything in their power to ensure that registered
voters don’t stay home come election day.

The youth of America has an extremely important role in this
year’s elections. Not only do we help decide who our next
president is, but by voting, we also put issues important to us on
the table. If we vote, these issues cannot be ignored.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *