National Voter Registration Day

By Jessicca Bacher, Contributing Writer

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Voter
Tents set up in the Student Center Quad allowed students to register to vote in the upcoming elections. Photo Credit: Jessicca Bacher.

The Department of Civic and Voter Engagement hosted an event on Wednesday afternoon to celebrate National Voter Registration Day for the very first time at Montclair State University. The goal was to encourage students to become involved in voting and making political decisions.
The event was held in the Student Center quad and included voter registration tables, music and a DJ, free ice cream and raffle prizes. Students also had the opportunity to participate in an election for what color Rocky the Red Hawk, Montclair State’s mascot, should be after witnessing a debate between the red and brown versions of Rocky.
Many students were attracted to the event. Some were interested in registering to vote and others were simply interested in getting a free ice cream cone.
“Students aren’t [civically] engaged and the national trend in voting is down among everyone,” said Brian McArdle, Coordinator of the Department of Civic and Voter Engagement about why they decided to host the event. “People don’t have time for it, which is not a good excuse, but it is the nature of our society.”
McArdle explains that due to the decreasing number of voters, National Voter Registration Day first started in 2012. It has expanded across many college campuses, now including Montclair State. “Students and people ages 18 to 29 are a big part of the population and it’s important to get them involved,” said McArdle.
“I think voting makes us responsible and prepares us for real life,” said freshman Emiliano Caballero, who has never voted before and registered for the first time at the event. He says he plans to vote in the upcoming presidential election.
Nasrin Younus, a senior, said, “As college students, we need to vote because ultimately whoever the president is will affect our tuition, our available grants, etc.”
Amir Botros, a sophomore who works with the Department of Civic and Voter Engagement, said, “It is important for students at universities to vote to have an effect on the community as a whole. What you get used to when you’re young is what you will do when you grow up, so we need to get people involved now and that way, they will keep voting when they’re older.”
Montclair State has partnered with TurboVote this year to ease the process for students registering to vote. “In the past couple of weeks over 600 students have registered,” said McArdle. “We’re hoping for a huge turnout after the event.”

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