Weber State University hosted National Voter Registration Day through a collaborative event Vice President of Leadership in Weber State University Senate Association Bret Alexander called “a power trio:” The American Democracy Project, the National League of Women Voters and the WSUSA Service Team Chair of Weber County Elections.
Leaders of those groups on campus collaborated to hand out cookies and help passers-by get registered to vote.
“National Voter Registration Day is an amazing opportunity for students to learn about the democratic engaged process of their nation,” said Vice President of Service for WSUSA Patrick Luo. “It follows one of the mission statements of the Community Center for Engaged Learning: for democratic
Those free cookies, however, are more nuanced than they may seem. Tanne Murdock, the director of ADP, commented on the issues they bring.
“It grabs people’s attention,” Murdock said, “but it is a very gray line. It is illegal to bribe for votes or, in this case, registrations, in any capacity. And so anything that could possibly be taken as bribery is something that is watched very closely. In some states we couldn’t even have the cookies at the table.”
Because of that gray line, Murdock and Alexander had to be very careful with their wording when grabbing attention of the students. They would start with “Do you want a cookie?” Then, after the person accepted or declined the cookie, they would continue onto, “Are you registered to vote?”
They said the response was, inspiringly, very positive. The majority of the people either said yes to both of the questions and went along their merry way, or said yes, and no and then promptly, and completely on their own will, filled out a registration form.
Many of the people had genuine and positive questions about the voter registration process, if they were able to vote and how to vote. Those people were heartwarming and outweighed the few people that bitterly took their cookie and walked away, or even worse, said something snide about the political world, such as voting being
It’s a common sentiment. People think that voting, registering to vote and, truth be told, anything remotely involved in the political world is boring and an utter waste of time. Organizations coming out to help people register to vote aim to change that idea.
Though they were not a part of the “power trio” Alexander described, Voterise also manned a table helping people get registered to vote. They were able to register 56 people. The “power trio table” was able to raise the rest, totaling 105 voter Registrations to count toward our Campus Cup.
WSU is participating in the Utah Campus Cup 2018 with every state school, except Brigham Young University, to see who can get the most students registered to vote. Follow the activities and get more information from flyers around campus, or on social media by using #utahcampuscup2018 or #wsuvotes.