The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

88° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Perceived University of Arizona student apathy pushes polling places to November

Just the second day of the new school year and UA students will be filling out more than just those “”get to know you”” surveys. Today marks the primaries for a contentious 2010 midterm election.

However, those students interested in fulfilling their civic duty will have to venture farther than campus to satisfy that urge.

A polling place on the UA campus was a dream of both the Arizona Students’ Association and the Associated Students of the University of Arizona at the end of last semester, but could not be opened until October when voter registration takes place, for time and money reasons.

The UA has been home to early polling sites since 2006, according to Christopher Roads, deputy recorder and registrar of voters at the Pima County Recorder’s Office, but the proximity of the beginning of school and the primary date barred them from an August polling place on campus.

“”I believe the UA is the first university in the country to have an early voting site on campus,”” Roads said. “”There was this huge population in the middle of town, particularly around the campus, which we could not serve (until the polling place was erected).””

Roads echoed the sentiment that F. Ann Rodriguez, the Pima County Recorder, expressed in an official release, “”Our goal in the recorder’s office is to make voting early as easy and accessible as possible, for every voter in Pima County.””

Elma Delic, ASA board chair, worked with Roads and Rodriguez to get the polling place on campus for students for November.

“”This polling location will help tremendously in mobilizing students to vote in the general election,”” Delic said. “”ASA and ASUA are part of the Arizona Student Vote Coalition, which is working to register 5,000 students statewide. We are running vigorous vote-registration campaigns on each campus through tabling events with clubs and organizations and other ways to engage students across the state.””

To vote in the general election, students must register by Oct. 4, but for today’s election, anyone registered in Pima County can head to their local polling site and cast their vote.

“”If you make it more convenient to the voter, more people will vote,”” Roads says of students voting, but warns to be sure that out-of-state financial aid doesn’t conflict with new voter plans. “”We don’t want to see that happen to people.””

Voter registration is one of several ways to prove change of residency status to the Office of Student Financial Aid, via a domicile affidavit form, according to the financial aid website. Since residency review for the spring semester starts on Nov. 1, this could cause problems if students do not make sure of their scholarship and residency status.

The main goal of ASA and the recorder’s office, despite this and other difficulties — voter apathy for one — is to, like Rodriguez said, make voting possible for every person who would like to participate.

More to Discover
Activate Search