Monday, September 13, 2010

Asher Roth, DJ Pauly D, and Voter Registration With the Smith Dems!

This past weekend the Smith Dems joined College Dems from all over Massachusetts to register students at College Fest 2010. College Fest is a huge gathering of Boston college students with live music, free giveaways, contests and lots of fun! The College Dems of Massachusetts, including a five-person delegation from Smith, staffed a table and registered students to vote.

In addition to the smattering of freebies, including some of my favorite hummus and several packs of Mentos, we had a really fun and successful day doing voter reg! The College Dems of Massachusetts grabbed clipboards and voter reg forms and fanned out. Although we had a competition as to which school could register the most voters, together, the College Dems of Massachusetts registered near 400 college students to vote! That is almost one per minute that we were there!
I was surprised by the number of people who were not registered. We were able to disseminate correct information about registering and voting at school and of the benefits of registering in Massachusetts for this election, most notably because we currently have a very competitive race for Governor.

Several students who I talked to had been wanting to register to vote but hadn’t gotten around to it or didn’t exactly know how. They were pleasantly surprised to find out that they could register right there and then and that it would only take 2 minutes. One woman, after I asked her if she was registered to vote, proclaimed, “Finally! I have been hoping one of you would approach me for 5 minutes now! I’ve been dying to register to vote!”

It is so important to have the voices of young people incorporated into the political process. If we don’t exercise our right to vote, key decisions about things such as the affordability of higher education or employment after graduation, will be make without our opinions. However, after this successful batch of voter registration, I feel optimistic about youth participation in the 2010 elections. This is something we are going to be working hard on right up until election day. Although this was just the first of the Smith Dems trips of the semester, as part of the College Democrats of Massachusetts' Registration Rumble contest, we will be working to register as many people as possible before the October 13th deadline.

-Alana Eichner, Campaigns Coordinator