With voter registrations for midterm elections closing Oct. 6, a new resource is available to Sam Houston State University students who are scrambling to register.
TurboVote.com is an online, nonpartisan website geared to help unregistered voters register for upcoming elections. Through the Global Center of Journalism and Democracy and Academic Community Engagement, students are able to access resources to register from the comfort of their computer.
“It’s like having a personal assistant helping you to make voting easier,” GCJD Director Kelli Arena said. “Voting is really powerful, and we’ve gone into some emerging democracies where people are finally able to participate and vote in clean elections the very first time. They are so excited to exercise that right. I want to see that same thing here in the United States and at Sam Houston State University.”
TurboVote.com was created in 2010 and caters to colleges and universities as well as other organizations throughout the U.S.
To sign up with TurboVote.com, students can visit www.shsu.turbovote.org and gain access to registration documents with a pre-addressed envelope and reminders when election dates approach. Moreover, participants still register with their local county clerk’s office and not through the TurboVote website. TurboVote.com provides the appropriate documents to ease the process.
“We’re here to help you vote, nothing more,” TurboVote.com states on its website.
Would-be voters must enter their first and last name, street address and citizenship status and select the appropriate documents needed to register to vote, cast an absentee vote and/or election reminders.
Arena said the partnership with ACE is helping students “pay attention to what’s going on.”
“Voting is an important issue,” she said. “There is no better way to enact change than voting…this is the step in the right direction.”
However, some students are apprehensive with putting their personal information out on the web, Tamara Waggener, department of political science associate department chair, said. Waggener said there is a willingness to vote amongst students and TurboVote.com is “a good alternative if you’re willing to provide the information.”
“When I announced TurboVote.com to my class, only a handful expressed an interest in registering,” Waggener said. “I think there is a discomfort they have to provide personal information.”
The deadline to register is Oct. 6 with local, state and midterm elections Nov. 4. For a list of state and local candidates, visit the Texas Secretary of State’s website.
“Just because you’re a student doesn’t mean you can’t make a difference,” Arena said. “Voting is one way to make a difference.”