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Students Prepare to Register and Vote for the Midterms

October 31, 2018

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Students Prepare to Register and Vote for the Midterms

Though many students are eager to vote in the upcoming midterm elections, a majority of students do not vote.

The Campus Vote Project reported that only 17 percent of people aged 18 to 24 cast a ballot in the 2014 elections when the proportion of 18-to-24-year-olds who were registered to vote was 42 percent.

College Democrats is a political organization at SF State that tries to address the issues and uphold values that the Democratic Party and most students support while keeping an open mind to people who have different perspectives and ideas about politics. The organization also desires to empower student voices.

Since College Democrats has been recently revived as an organization on campus, they haven’t been very involved with students and voting in the midterms. However, they plan on collaborating with other student organizations to discuss politics and bring awareness and preparedness for future political events.

“We hope our planned events make sure that people are influenced to vote,” said Joshua Ochoa, president of College Democrats.

The only event they have planned for the semester is an election watch party that they are trying to host with other active organizations.

Additionally, College Democrats hope to spread awareness for the midterm elections in other ways that can encourage students to register and vote.

“Our current trajectory with regards to the midterms is two-fold,” said political director of College Democrats Joshua Ramirez. “One, we want to empower our members to be better voters, and the second being part of the Democratic resistance.”

Ramirez also volunteers for local campaigns. As a resident in the Sunset, Ramirez goes door-to-door for Jessica Ho for District 4 Supervisor. Ramirez is also a board member with the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club and does volunteer work for endorsed candidates like Catherine Stefani and Michelle Parker.

One can help educate others on the current elections by volunteering for campaigns, spreading awareness about what’s on the ballot and influencing people to vote on issues they care about.

“You have to show the community that their neighbors are out and engaged and doing what they can to improve the hood,” Ramirez said.

There are many resources on and off SF State’s campus to learn about voting, especially through clubs and organizations. But Ramirez’s advice is to leave campus to build an even more significant understanding of the importance of voting.

“Get off campus,” Ramirez said. “Talk to people. Talk to voters. Talk to elected officials. Look for clubs for whatever party you align with because it’s San Francisco. There are dozens of ways to affiliate yourself with whatever niche of politics you align yourself with.”

California’s deadline to register to vote was Oct. 22. However, there is still time for students to register to vote in San Francisco.

On Nov. 6, anyone can go to City Hall and register to vote on the day of midterm elections. Once they register, they can vote at the same time.

Maya Maldonado, president of the Resident Housing Association(RHA) advises students to register to vote and its importance as well.

“Definitely register,” junior Maya Maldonado said. “I think students should know what resources are available.”

Sarah Niderost is a senior at SFSU, studying journalism and sociology. While writing articles and scrolling through her social media, Sarah also enjoys rock climbing, running, and attempting to be a coffee connoisseur.
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