Campus groups encourage students to vote

by Ben Rodgers

With Nov. 6 approaching quickly, Simpson students will be offered many chances to get active, get registered and vote.

Many Simpson student groups have already taken the initiative to get out and get students excited to register and vote. Both Simpson College Republicans and Democrats, Simpson Votes and the Culver Center have been working hard to make sure students vote.

At OrgFest, Simpson College Republicans and Democrats had tables set up with forms to register to vote and requests for absentee voting.

Another campus group that has been encouraging student voting is Simpson Votes. Simpson Votes is a new group this year that was started by freshman MacKenzie Bills. The idea of Simpson Votes is that it is a non-partisan group that is making sure everyone on campus votes.

“I noticed over the summer that we only have two groups here on campus, Simpson College Democrats and Republicans, registering people in their groups,” Bills said. “There are a lot of people in the middle though that don’t want to sign up for either one so they get pushed away or don’t get involved because they don’t know what they are. I thought rather then getting certain people, why not get everyone because it’s their right and they should get the right to vote.”

Bills has gone door to door in the residence halls, spoken to classes and sent out email blasts trying to find out if students are registered and voting. What the group is doing now is going through lists of students to find out who is registered so they are able to target people who aren’t and get them registered.

The Culver Public Policy Center has also given students ways to register and request absentees through an online system called TurboVote. Through TurboVote, students can request both registration forms and absentee ballot applications.

Both Simpson College Republicans and Simpson Votes pushed the use for TurboVote.

“TurboVote made it easier because it was purely online, which really helps the younger voters,” Chair of Simpson College Republicans Kristin Richert said.

Through TurboVote you receive all the forms along with an envelope addressed to your local election authority. It is too late to register to vote through TurboVote, however students are still able to request an absentee ballot.

Another option for Simpson students who want to vote is a satellite-voting center inside the Kent Campus Center. Satellite voting is set up to make voting more accessible to Simpson students.

This will be offered for three days, October 23, 24 and 25.

“I think it will have a really good impact on Simpson’s campus with voting so easy you don’t even have to leave campus,” junior Annie Olson said. “I think it will encourage a lot of people to get out and vote.”

The satellite voting center was made possible by numerous students who distributed petitions throughout the student body and community.

Students are also able to register and vote early at the county auditor’s office located in the Warren County Administration building. The last day to register is Nov. 3. You are also able to request for an absentee ballot at the auditor’s office.

Early voting runs until the day before the election on Nov. 5. Any form of early voting, even if it is done at the auditors office is done on an absentee ballot.

Even with all of these early options, students can also vote on Election Day, Nov. 6. Polls will open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Simpson College is split up into three different voting precincts in Indianola two, three and five. Your precinct is decided by where your campus residence is located. Precinct two votes at Warren County Administration Building, precinct three at the Community Church of Christ and precinct five at the Masonic Hall.

For those who want to vote the day of election but did not register early still are able to do day of registration, which requires proof of identity and proof of residence.

Through groups on campus and the community there are many chances for Simpson students to register and vote in the 2012 election.