When it comes to voting registration, Montclair State University has moved into the 21st century by allowing students to register to vote online using TurboVote, opt for vote-by-mail and receive election reminders through email and text.
Coordinator of Civic and Voter Engagement Brian McArdle plans to have ongoing tabling at different spots on campus throughout the semester to provide students with information about voting. At these tables, students will have the opportunity to stop by and ask questions, vote on a current topic or issue and register to vote using TurboVote.
Exercise science major and first-time voter, Julian Manrique, said, “[TurboVote] was really organized and easy to use. I never gave much thought to voting, but I am 21 now, and I might as well.”
Manrique says that republicans are driven by emotion, hate, anger and fear and that he is looking forward to voting because he wants to help make a difference in his country. “A little bit of socialism is what America needs,” said Manrique.
Vanessa Moncada, a Biology major said she is not able to vote in previous elections because she is not 18 yet, but is looking forward to making her mark soon. She admits that she barely reads Red Hawk News reminders that list where Civic and Voter Engagement will be tabling for the week, but she thinks it is cool that student can register while on campus.
Moncada went on to explain how she sees a lot of posts on social media about the presidential candidates. “There’s a post being shared online on how teens talk about who they’re voting for but aren’t even registered to vote,” said Moncada as she scrolled through her Twitter feed, looking for the tweet. “It’s funny, because I am one of those teens.”
“If Trump becomes president, I’m moving to Canada,” said Moncada.
Mahnoor Waseem, student assistant for Civic and Voter Engagement and ambassador of the Andrew Goodman Foundation, said that the goal of tabling is to develop a long-term voter engagement by continuing to get students to register.
Waseem, a jurisprudence and political science major, hopes that this pattern continues and that more students not only register but actually act upon their right to vote.
Brandon Naylor, director of Communications for TurboVote, said that the program benefits younger voters by meeting them where they are because it makes it easy to sign up in minutes, receive text or email election reminders, and register to vote, all from a smartphone. “That simpler process will result in a lifelong voting and that makes for a better democracy,” he said.
While Naylor accepts that election regulations can be tricky, TurboVote resonates with younger voters who want a system that will make it easier to navigate the waters of voting, especially while at school and away from home.