From Sept. 22 to Sept. 23, various organizations from the Knoxville area registered students and faculty on campus to vote as a part of “National Voter Registration Day.”
Included in some of those groups was the Student Government Association, the Howard Baker Center and the League of Women Voters. The League of Women Voters set up their table near Ayres Hall and claimed to register more than 70 people throughout the day.
Jamey Dobbs, a representative and former president of the League of Women Voters, said that although she was still learning about different voting issues, voting is “essential” and important to our country.
With the closest polling place having been moved off of campus to Fort Sanders Elementary School, Dobbs shared a concern that this change would diminish voter turnout, making it more difficult and more inconvenient to vote.
“The campus library could be an option to handle voting,” Dobbs said. “Voter turnout has tripled when the polling place is on campus than when it is off.”
Michel Grijalva, a sophomore student in accounting, has similar concerns.
“I don’t understand why we have to register to vote at all,” he said. “Shouldn’t voting be as easy as buying baking soda at the store? The whole system seems kind of designed to discourage busy people from voting.”
The next election in the city of Knoxville is on Sept. 29. Although it is too late to register for that election, potential voters can still register to vote for the upcoming national election. Voters can register by March 1 for the primary election or by next November for the general election.
To find out more about registering to vote, visit the Howard Baker Center or check out their website.
Featured image by Ryan McGill
Edited by Courtney Anderson