Students had the opportunity to become deputized to register people to vote for the first time at St. Edward’s University. A total of 10 students were deputized at this event hosted by the Student Government Association.
The event was on Sept. 15.
One of these students was SGA Vice President George Kuhle who wanted to become deputized to help his peers have an easy opportunity to have their voices be heard. “I am from New York City and in the fall of 2012 I submitted paperwork to register to vote,” Kuhle said. “However, I never heard back from the NYC Board of Elections.”
While it may not have worked out for Kuhle to be a registered voter in his hometown, he was able to become registered in Austin.
“One of the students who was deputized registered me to vote in Travis County,” Kuhle said. “Without that I would not have been able to vote in that election.”
Since Wednesday Sept. 17, Kuhle and nine other students have been registering people to vote in this year’s elections. “We started registering on Wednesday, which was Constitution Day, and all of our events after that will have registration available until Oct. 6, which is the last day to register,” SGA External Affairs Director Jackie Schicker said. “Part of our bylaws as an organization is representing civic life on campus.”
By making registration readily available on campus, SGA is hoping to encourage students to become more involved in civic life.
While SGA is doing an excellent job at providing opportunities for St. Edward’s students to participate in civic life, the same cannot be said for the state of Texas as whole.
Texas is recognized as having extremely poor voter turnout, especially given its population size.
Even during years of key presidential elections, Texas still shows less than half of eligible voters coming to the polls.
The New York Times reported this June that in the 2012 elections 49.7 percent of those eligible actually participated. This puts Texas at the bottom of the voter turnout, only ahead of Hawaii, West Virginia and Oklahoma.
St. Edward’s students not only have the opportunity to register as voters, but also to learn more about the candidates and issues at the Election Showcase on Oct. 28.
“This will be an informational forum in which students will have an opportunity to hear directly from party representatives about the various issues that will be addressed in this year’s election,” SGA President Samantha Mendoza said about the Showcase.
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