Registration and early voting made simple at Simpson


Photo by Randy Paulson/The Simpsonian

by Kayla Reusche, Staff Writer

The early voting period began Oct. 8 in Iowa. Meanwhile, Simpson College Culver Fellows and Andrew Goodman Foundation Ambassadors are hosting events to educate and register students to vote.

They registered about 170 people as of the start of the early voting period, according to senior Danielle Bates, a Culver Fellow and lead Vote Everywhere Ambassador.

The fellows and ambassadors strive to educate students on the voting process and encourage them to vote. Since the election process can be confusing, they’re equipped to answer questions and assist with registration and requests.

On Oct. 8 the fellows and ambassadors hosted an absentee ballot request party featuring free Outside Scoop outside of Kent Campus Center. Fourteen people registered to vote and six requested absentee ballots, Bates said.

Senior Charlie Cross took advantage of the event and registered to vote.

“In my opinion, if you don’t vote, you can’t really have a say in why you don’t like the government being ran how it is and so you have to vote in order to change anything,” he said.

Once the registration forms or absentee ballots are complete, ambassadors deliver them to the county auditor, so it saves students the time and trouble.

Another way the fellows and ambassadors are making the voting process easier is through a satellite absentee voting station.

Students can cast their vote on Oct. 23 from 9-3 p.m. in Kent. The satellite absentee voting station mirrors a regular polling place on Election Day. The main difference is that early voting ballots at satellite stations are counted as absentee ballots, Culver Center Executive Director Seth Andersen said. The Warren County auditor’s office will staff the satellite station with help from trained students.

To apply for the voting station, Bates and other Culver Fellows had to collect more than 100 signatures from eligible voters in Indianola.

Bates said she will cast her vote at the satellite station and suggests it as an easy way for people to vote.

“I think it’s really helpful for people that it’s in our main campus center so it’s easy for people to just get it out of the way,” she said.

Cross agreed that Simpson organizations simplify the voting process and make it easy for students to get informed and registered.

Not only is the satellite station a convenient location for students, but Indianola residents within the city limits can also utilize this station, Bates said.

The last time Simpson had a satellite station was for the presidential election in 2016, where about 230 people casted early ballots, Andersen said.

According to The National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement, about half of Simpson students who voted in the last midterm election did so using absentee ballots.

Numbers may be even greater this year.

“We expect a strong turnout at the early voting satellite polling place this year given the enhanced level of attention on this year’s midterm elections,” Andersen said.

No matter the method of voting, Andersen said he wants to see students vote.

“Voting is at the heart of our democracy. All votes matter and all votes count equally. Young people should register and vote to take charge of their own future,” he said.

Bates echoed him.

“Voting is one way that your voice can be heard in the government,” she said.

The Culver Center’s next event is Oct. 16 in Principal Black Box featuring The Future is Voting Tour. This free performance hopes to inform and inspire students to vote in the midterm election.

Culver Fellows will continue to assist students with registration and paperwork until the election on Nov. 6.