UNT students can register to vote in Denton County

UNT students can register to vote in Denton County

UNT students can register to vote in Denton County
June 10
20:27 2016

Harrison Long | Editor-in-Chief

@HarrisonGLong

With less than 20 percent of millenials nationwide turning out to vote in the 2014 mid-term elections, many politicians are left scratching their heads wondering how to coax them to the polls. According to CIRCLE, a Tuft University center that studies civic engagement, 19.9 percent of people ages 18-34 voted in 2014.

One factor contributing to this trend is a pervasive lack of registration among young people. As they move away from home to attend college, many students are unaware of simple measures that can allow them to cast a ballot on election day.

Denton is no exception.

“[Students] can go to VoteDenton.com and download an application, and they can fill it out and mail it in to the elections office,” Lannie Noble, elections administrator for Denton County, said. “Or they can come into the office, fill out an application and hand it to us.”

Noble also said students who renew their driver license at the department of public safety could register to vote while doing so.

The deadline to register is 30 days before the general election, which takes place on Nov. 8.

With millennials recently overtaking baby boomers as the largest voting bloc in the United States, the lack of millenial voting has party affiliates looking to organize ways to connect with young and uninterested voters.

“Anybody who lives on a campus can register to vote,” Phyllis Wolper, chairperson for the Denton County Democratic Party, said. “Even if you’re in a dorm or apartment, it doesn’t matter. You can register to vote here. We will be doing extensive registration on college campuses.”

Wolper said she expected the number of voters to cast their ballots in Denton to match or exceed that of 2008, which had an extremely high turnout. She also said registration is non-partisan, and even if voters are being registered as members of a certain party, they aren’t likely to see any emblem.

On campus, student government is also leading the charge in helping students engage in local and national politics.

“We’ve had booths in the past and have bused voters to polling sites from dorms,” SGA president Grant Hale said. “Voter apathy is a real thing.”

Hale also joked that sometimes it can be difficult to even get students to vote in campus elections, where ballots are cast online. In the SGA spring run-off election, 11 percent of UNT students voted.

But as far as convincing UNT students to vote in the general election in November, Noble said they’re aiming to urge millenials to be proactive to avoid the long lines that appear on Election Day.

“We’re encouraging people to take advantage of that first week of early voting, where you can vote at any precinct,” he said.

Featured Illustration: File Photo

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