National Voter Registration Week kicks off

Events are taking place on campus this week will help students register to vote.

In an effort to increase the number of Vols who vote, UT Libraries, the Baker Center and the Student Government Association are bringing National Voter Registration Week to campus this week.

This week is packed with a variety of events dedicated to helping students register to vote and learn more about their voting rights.

Every day, voter registration drives can be found on Pedestrian Walkway, the Student Union plaza and Hodges Library from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

‘How to Register’ workshops will be held at the following times: 3:40 p.m., 5:05 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. in room 209.

‘How to Vote’ workshops will be held at 2:45 p.m., 4:15 p.m., 5:40 p.m. and 7:05 p.m. in room 209. 

On Tuesday, a representative from the Knox County Election Commission will be at Hodges Library to verify students’ identification for absentee ballots on Tuesday in honor of National Voter Appreciation Day.

Starting Tuesday, UT will compete with other colleges and universities in the state to register the most voters. Students can show their voter registration card if they are already registered and want to participate in the competition.

For each registration, a paper chain will be added to a link in the Hodges Library galleria. The ‘Link Together’ competition will end on Oct. 7 and the winning college or university will be recognized with a plaque.

Jay Hearn, a senior studying political science and a Baker Ambassador involved with hosting National Voter Registration Week, said increasing voter registration is especially important on a college campus.

“Voter registration is important on a college campus because we are the future,” said Hearn. “So many political issues like climate change and voting rights affect young people and we need to be engaged in the process so that we can make change happen on the issues that most matter.”

Hearn also explained that the registration process can be confusing for students.

“Don’t be afraid to ask for help,” Hearn said. “We want people engaged in the political process and we understand that the registration process can be confusing. Just ask for help from a friend, or a mentor, or your local election commission.” 

Since elections are coming up, these dates are important to note: Oct. 7, 2019, is the last day to register to vote in city mayor and city council elections in November. Feb. 3, 2020, is the last day to register to vote in the presidential primaries in Tennessee. Oct. 5, 2020, is the last day to register to vote in the presidential election.

Students can also register to vote online.

Edited by Christian Knox and Maddie Torres

Image courtesy of Creative Commons