With intensity mounting as the deadline to register to vote approaches for the Nov. 5 general election, campus organizations are doing all they can to get students registered.
Teaming up in pairs, members of the NAACP went to The Moon, Late Night Library, BW3 and The Grove last week with a stack of voter applications in one hand and free coupons as an incentive in the other.
“Sixty applications were completed by the end of the week,” said NAACP Chapter President Jonathan Quarles.
Quarles, 20, a third-year business student from Flint, Mich., said he hopes to have as many students as possible register by the Oct. 7 deadline and to then see them vote.
FAMU’s NAACP chapter began its voter registration efforts this summer and will continue until Oct 7. They’ve registered 1,500 students and Tallahassee residents so far, he said.
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. and the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. will host a political candidate forum Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Perry Paige in hopes to educate students on local candidates and provide another opportunity to register to vote
“I hope the event will get students excited about voting,” said Amber Hall, 22, a senior business student from Indianapolis and president of the Beta Alpha chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha.
The Lobby Task Force, a part of Student Government’s Student Lobbying division, is also in the push to get students registered.
At the campus wide breakfast today, the Lobby Task Force hopes to catch any unregistered eligible voters who still remain, said Kimberly King the director of student lobbying. Five stations will be set up strategically around campus, she said.
King, 20, a junior agricultural business student from Texarkana, Texas, said she too hopes FAMU students realize that it is not only a right to vote, but also a responsibility.
“It’s really important to let the state know and the world know that students at Florida A&M University care about what happens in the electoral process,” King said. “If we don’t protect our interests, who will?”
Quarles, along with members of the Task Force and other student organizations, were trained how to assist first-time voter applicants earlier this fall by Leon County election officials King said.
The training is to ensure that voter applications are not filled out incorrectly – a problem that is common, according to election officials.
Cynthia TenEyck, a Leon County elections records specialist, said the most common mistake students make is not putting their Leon County physical addresses on the registration form.
TenEyck said applicants also forget to include their birth date and signature – all of which are required to receive voting rights.
She advised students to contact the supervisor of elections office after applying. Not receiving a voter registration card with five to 10 days is a warning that something has gone wrong, she said.
“They can call us and we would be happy to tell them (if they’re registration is complete).”
Angie Green can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.