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What is the Colgate Vote Project?

This year as one of my sociology electives, I’m taking a class called Media Politics with one of my favorite Professors of all time (and my academic advisor), Professor Simmons. Seriously, if you haven’t taken a class with Professor Simmons, you’re really missing out (I’ve taken 3 with her so far – that should mean something). 

In class last week, she told us about the Colgate Vote Project. According to a survey sent out by Colgate, 80% of students were registered to vote in the last election, but only 10% of us voted. Come on people, this is our civic duty! 

This isn’t just a problem among the Colgate community, but also among our nation as a whole. Voter turnout in the United States is incredibly low compared to similar nations. According to the Pew Research Center, only 56% of the US voting-age population cast ballots in the 2016 presidential election. However, 70% of Americans say high turnout in presidential elections is very important. US voter turnout ranks 31 out of 35 developed countries – nations with advanced economies and a heavy use of technology.  

According to Science News for Students, there are many reasons as to why voter registration is low in the United States. For example, registration takes work. While in many countries, citizens are automatically signed up to vote, in the US it is up to the individual to register to vote. The Colgate Vote project aims to tackle this issue and get students to the polls for the midterm elections. 

The Colgate Vote project is “a campus initiative that strives to increase voter registration and voter turnout among Colgate students by facilitating the voting process and making election information more readily accessible.” 

“Regardless of party affiliation, current political engagement, or voting eligibility, the project aims to support all students and create an on-campus environment that encourages political awareness and voter participation.”

In order to help students become more aware of the voting process, the Colgate Vote Project provides links to check your voter registration status, register to vote, request an absentee ballot, and learn about elections in your home state.

Now that you have all of this information (and everything takes about 1 or 2 minutes), there are no excuses to not get out there and vote in the midterm elections! You’ll feel good about performing your civic duty too. 

My name is Meghan and I am very excited to be Colgate's Campus Correspondent! I am a junior at Colgate and a Sociology major. My hometown is Manhattan Beach, California, and Colgate is such an amazing and special place to me (despite getting used to the brutal winters)! I love social media, writing, and photography, and can't wait to share all of the events, trending topics, and news happening at Colgate this coming semester!
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