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All About PIRG’s National Voter Registration Day

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

Every year on Sep. 19, organizations across college campuses put on a voter registration event for National Voter Registration Day. This year, Florida State University’s Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) held an event on Landis Green offering games, donuts, and prizes. I had the opportunity to attend this event and speak to PIRG’s Campaign Coordinator, Sam Appel, on their New Voters Project.

Her Campus (HC): What are the main goals of the New Voters Project? 

Sam Appel (SA): The New Voters Project works to institutionalize voting on college campuses across our nation. The work is done to help provide a voice to America’s newest generation to vote. Our main goals are to reach students as many times and in as many ways as possible, using both grassroots and grasstops strategies to make sure students have access to civic education.

HC: What are the benefits of being registered to vote? 

SA: Access to the vote is nearly an anachronism. Just over one hundred years ago, women, many people of color, and adults under the age of 21 lacked access to direct democracy. Even those that could vote could not yet directly elect senators, and were still diminished in their voice. We are one of the first generations to have such direct access to share our voice. Voting is a duty that bestows the benefit of a seat at our government’s table. 

HC: Why did you decide to lead this campaign? 

SA: I felt like I had a duty to our student community and to our generation. Statistics show that once someone votes for the first time, they are likely to become a lifelong voter, meaning that if I can help convince people to register and vote in college, I can help cultivate a civically engaged community for the next 80-plus years. In order to make sure our generation is represented in government and the policies our government adopts, I knew I had to work to make sure our generation has access to the ballot box. 

HC: What is PIRG?

SA: PIRG stands for Public Interest Research Group, and it is a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to elevating students’ voices on campus. Student PIRGs exist throughout the United States, and work to train and develop student leaders to make change on their campus and in their community. 

HC: How can people become involved with PIRG? 

SA: PIRG at Florida State is currently running five campaigns: Break Free from Plastics, The New Voters Project, Textbook Affordability, Anti-Hunger Campaign, and a new Homelessness campaign to fight student housing insecurities. We host our weekly General Body Meeting on Thursdays at 6 p.m. in the Globe, room 2500, and also post about volunteering opportunities on our Instagram, @fsu_flopirg.

HC: How can people get registered to vote now? 

SA: You can update your registration at studentvote.org to your student address; this will allow you to vote directly in the Student Union on election day in 2024. For out-of-state students and completely new registrations, you can fill out a paper form with the Supervisor of Elections Office, which will be present at multiple PIRG events throughout the coming months!

HC: Any last thoughts? 

SA: Gen Z is not only America’s newest generation to vote, but also currently America’s largest. Despite our small numbers, we remain consistently engaged in our nation’s politics and are dedicated to making a difference. Recognize that now is the time to make your voice heard. Register to vote today!

Voting is part of everyone’s civic duty to allow their voices to be heard within our government. There are resources out there to help people register and to educate people on the choices available. 

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Hi! I am a student at Florida State University. My pronouns are she/they and I am a part of the LGBTQ+ community! My first and foremost goal is to share information that I feel will benefit everyone and make sure that everyone feels heard and seen.