Candidates for U.S. Congress aren’t the only ones facing off on Election Day this year, as college students in Utah will also compete to help their schools send the most registered voters to the polls.
The Campus Cup is a voting competition among the 10 colleges and universities in Utah. The lieutenant governor’s office is promoting the competition in an effort to combat the low voter participation rates among college students.
“We really want to focus on college campuses because that tends to be the lower voter turnout portion of the population,” said Derek Brenchley, an elections assistant in the lieutenant governor’s office. “We just think that if we can get even one more person registered and in the polling booth then that’s a good thing.”
Former Lt. Gov. Greg Bell teamed up with the Utah Council of Student Body Presidents to create the challenge for the 2012 general election. Salt Lake Community College won the inaugural competition by registering more than 1,300 students to vote.
The competition consists of students posting pictures of their “I voted” sticker or sealed absentee ballot on Twitter, Instagram or Vine with their school’s assigned hashtag. BYU students who wish to participate can use #byuvotes.
“Our office thinks that everyone who is eligible to vote should. It’s the best thing about our democracy, that we can exercise that right to vote,” Brenchley said. “One more person is one more person.”
For more information on the Campus Cup, visit elections.utah.gov.
One possible reason for the low voter turnout among students, especially in Utah, is the fact that voters in the state so often elect Republicans and might feel like their vote does not really count. For a more in-depth focus on this, see our recent article on voting in Utah.