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Saint Mary’s College Democrats hold voter registration drive

| Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Saint Mary’s College Democrats is holding a voter registration drive throughout this week, with the goal of helping students exercise a civic duty, club treasurer Meredith Mackowicz said.

“[Voting is] your responsibility as a citizen, as an American, as a person in this generation who cares about the future of our country,” Mackowicz said.

College Democrats secretary Gabby Haff said Saint Mary’s students should value the right to vote, given the College’s status as an all-women school.

“Registering to vote is a right that men and women fought long and hard for, which is something not only Saint Mary’s should appreciate as women, but also as citizens,” Haff said. “Still to this day, there are people around the world who are not granted the right to vote, and we as American citizens should register to vote for all of those in the past and present who were/are not able to.”

Junior Stephanie Stapleton, a member of the club’s board, said she thinks it’s important for young voters to know that they have a say in the election and what happens in the world.

“If we get them started now in political affiliations, then it can help them understand what they want, which can help shape future elections,” she said.

Mackowicz said students should vote for a person who can “create a world we want to live in.”

“Especially in an election like this, where it really is going to come down to a small number of votes on either side, I think it’s really important for students to get in early, to register and to not let this opportunity pass them by,” she said.

Stapleton said party lines have blurred in this election, meaning some students are questioning whether to register.

“I’ve had some students tell me they weren’t sure who to vote for, but I still encourage them to register because when it comes down to it, every voter has to make a choice,” Stapleton said.

Students are also hesitant to pick a side, Mackowicz said.

“I know, especially just sitting at the registration table today, we had a lot of people who were not sure if they wanted to register yet or not sure if it mattered,” she said.

So far, the drive has helped around 35 to 40 students register to vote, but more have come in asking questions regarding absentee ballots.

“A lot more people than I expected stop by and say, ‘I’m already registered, but how can I vote and where can I get my absentee ballot?’” Mackowicz said.

The drive will continue throughout this Thursday and Friday. On Thursday, it will be in Le Mans Hall from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. On Friday, it will be in the Student Center Atrium from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“The amount [of registrations] we’ve had is pretty awesome so far, and we’re hoping for a great turnout for the rest of the week too,” Mackowicz said.

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