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Young Democrats club advocates voting

Jillian Barwick | Wednesday, September 12, 2012

As the 2012 presidential election nears, students at Saint Mary’s College are gearing up to vote in both Indiana polls and via absentee ballot.

Senior London Lamar, president of Young Democrats at Saint Mary’s, said she wants her College peers to realize that exercising their right to vote demonstrates appreciation to earlier generations of politically active women.

“Women fought for so many years for the right to vote,” Lamar said. “It is our duty as educated women to take full advantage of the paths those women paved for us and vote in every election being held throughout the year.”

As a Young Democrats member, Lamar said vocalizing her political interests enhances her Saint Mary’s experience, but she also realizes other students on campus may not share her views. She said she recognizes the group has a responsibility since there is no official Republican group on campus.

“Our organization on campus knows that while expressing our own views of the Democratic party is important, we must also be a bipartisan club for those students who do not share the same views, but express interest in the election and voting,” Lamar said.

Senior Young Democrats member Ambreen Ahmad said she is committed to promoting the vote across party lines on the Saint Mary’s campus.

“My primary responsibility is to make the bipartisan effort about being able to vote,” Ahmad said. “Over the summer, I was able to look at how democracy has affected the U.S. and how voter turnout is still so low. By being a part of Young Democrats on campus, I am hoping girls will realize that voting is important on so many different levels.”

Lamar and Ahmad said they hope to spread the word about the importance of voting through the Young Democrats’ voter registration table, which will be open through Thursday in the Student Center Lounge. The table helps students register to vote, sign up for an absentee ballot and have the organization pay for the postage when voting forms are ready to be mailed.

“This is an exciting time for the students here. For most of us, this is our first time voting in a presidential election,” Lamar said. “While this is a great thing to do, Ambreen and I really want our peers to remember that elections happen more frequently for our local governments. We want people to become politically aware and remain politically aware.”

Taking initiative to vote in all elections is a crucial American civic duty, Ahmad said.

“As educated women, it is even more important for us to exercise our right to vote at every opportunity we have,” she said.

As such, the Saint Mary’s Young Democrats’ responsibilities as representatives for the national organization do not end with the Nov. 6 election, Lamar said.

“It is our responsibility to keep the laws and policies that are a result of the election in the public’s eye on campus,” she said. “This is our chance to stay active in the community and remain active. By showing what we stand for and not just saying it, the Young Democrats can achieve a greater foothold here.”

The Young Democrats will hold a watch night for the first presidential debate Oct. 3 at 8 p.m. in Room 152 of Regina Hall. The club will also meet to watch election night coverage Nov. 6 from 8 to 12 p.m. in Vander Vennet in the Student Center basement.