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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


‘Our Voice, Our Vote’ campaign concludes, turn out not what expected

Rebecca Noble / The Daily Wildca
Rebecca Noble / The Daily Wildcat Political science juinor and ASUA Student Body Senator Joe Zanoni asks Morgan Abraham, UA graduate of 2014 in engineering management and previous ASUA president, if he is registered to vote outside of the Gubenational Debate at Centennial Hall on Sunday, Sept. 21. Zanoni will be running a voter registration booth on the UA mall for the next two weeks.

The Associated Students of the University of Arizona initiative to get more students involved with early voter registration in the 2014 midterm elections didn’t have quite the turnout as expected.

Katie Jones, ASUA policy director, said the turnout this year from the “Our Voice, Our Vote” campaign was widespread with respect to students and community members from Tucson.

“The opportunity was there for people to go out [and] vote,” Jones said, “and it was convenient for a lot of people, both on campus and nearby to get here.”

ASUA President Issac Ortega said in the past, the UA has registered around 600 people for early voting.

“This time around, they got just about 400,” Ortega said, “but the difference was that there were probably way more students [than] there were people from the community.”

ASUA Sen. Joe Zanoni said students seemed less excited about the midterm elections than they were two years ago for the presidential election.

“I think that’s because both candidates for governor really didn’t excite the student body, because there weren’t that many new ideas,” Zanoni said.

Ortega said that, in his opinion, the turnout for early voter registration depends on the climate of the election.

“We always do our best to try to engage students, from the beginning when you talk about registration, all the way until the day you actually vote,” Ortega said. “And we’ve gotten a lot of compliments from students saying that if it wasn’t for having the early voting site here at ASUA, they probably wouldn’t have gone out to vote.”

Jones said the “Our Voice, Our Vote” campaign began with the Aloe Blacc concert. After the concert, ASUA members went into classrooms to educate students about voting and hosted a booth on the UA Mall where students could register.

Ortega said the most successful event of the “Our Voice, Our Vote” campaign was the gubernatorial forum.

“We got such great feedback from the candidates who participated,” Ortega said. “It was a great thing to know that we had an opportunity for students to come out and get educated on some of the candidates that we had.”

Zanoni said the traditional paper voting style might work for parents and grandparents, but it really doesn’t work for the Millennial generation. He said the online format is much more accessible for students.

“The implementation of TurboVote, where we had students register through an online system was really cool,” Ortega said. “We had a lot more students register that way just because it was way easier, rather than some intimidating paper and pen thing.”

Ortega said ASUA is still working on crunching the numbers to find the exact percentage of students registered to vote in 2014. He predicted the percentage of students who will register in the future will continue to increase, especially in the presidential elections.

“I’m excited to use TurboVote for the presidential election,” Zanoni said, “because I think we could really mobilize the student vote like we’ve never seen before.”


Follow Brandi Walker on Twitter.

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