By JENNIFER WAGNER
For the first time out-of-state students can register to vote and receive an absentee ballot from their state without leaving campus.
BYUSA is sponsoring an in-state and out-of-state voter registration drive this week. The drive includes a talk on Thursday from Elder Dennis B. Neuenschwander, of the First Quorum of the Seventy.
The registration drive was the idea of Rachael Wilson, 19, a sophomore from Dayton, Ohio, majoring in international politics and an executive director in Student Advisory Council.
“I’ve always been interested in politics and was always bothered when people said students were uniformed and didn’t care about politics or the community. I want to prove them wrong,” Wilson said.
Wilson originally focused on getting students active in Utah communities. However, Dan Schoeni, chairman of SAC, wondered how possible it would be to set up an area on campus where out-of-state students could register and make arrangements to receive an absentee ballot.
Schoeni, 22, a junior from Dauds, Iowa, majoring in philosophy, never wanted to register to vote in Utah, because he would have to forfeit his Iowa residency. If he still wanted to vote, he would have to send home for an absentee ballot and mail it back.
“We wanted to make it so registering would not be a hastle for students,” Wilson said.
BYUSA will have booths outside of the Harold B. Lee Library this week where in-state and out-of-state students can register. Out-of-state students will need to fill out a national voter registration form. BYUSA will mail these forms on Friday, where they will go to the necessary states. The states will then send an absentee ballot to the student.
“It’s not too late for out-of-state students to register and vote in the Nov. 3 election,” Wilson said.
If the form is sent in by Friday, there will be just enough time to vote in the November election, Wilson said.
Voting registration is an important part of our civic responsibility, Wilson said.
“It’s up to us to maintain a strong democracy. Sometimes college students can seem apathetic to politics and the community. This is our opportunity to register and vote,” Wilson said.
BYUSA wants students to get involved in their communities now.
“We want to build better citizens; for students to be civicly involved,” Schoeni said.
Elder Neuenschwander will speak on Thursday at 11 a.m. in the Garden Court in the Wilkinson Center about civic responsibility and our role in preserving a strong democracy.
Voter registration booths will be set up outside of the Harold B. Lee Library from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. through Friday.