As the 2020 presidential election approaches, the Beta Alpha chapter of Delta Sigma Theta sorority and the Tallahassee Dream Defenders teamed up on Tuesday to get Florida A&M University students to the polls for their event, “BADST Politics: Voter Registration & Dream Defenders Presentation.” The organizations held a voter registration drive and political forum in Perry Paige Auditorium on FAMU’s campus.
During the event, students registered to vote and updated their voter registration information over refreshments and small conversation. This was followed by a group breakout session led by members of the Dream Defenders and Delta Sigma Theta where students discussed political issues, policy and candidates for the 2020 election.
Tori Terrell, a senior nursing student and the committee chair for the event, partnered with Dream Defenders for the event because of the statewide organization’s strong connection with the black community.
“I thought they would be perfect to work with for this event because of their emphasis on educating the youth on how to vote and the issues that are important to our community and how they impact our community,” Terrell said.
The purpose of the event was to get young people out to vote and to also inform them on political stances that are being taken for the upcoming election.With the country’s political climate, it is important for millennials to get involved in politics and learn about policies that are impacting their lives, Terrell added.
Marie Rattigan, a recent graduate of FAMU and the Tallahassee SquaDD Coordinator for Dream Defenders, wants first-time voters to know it’s important to vote, but it’s most important to know what you are voting for.
“It’s imperative to do your research. Although there are a lot of candidates that we see talking, especially in the media, I would suggest you go look at the list of the people who are running and do your research on each candidate to make sure your views align,” Rattigan said.
Susie Caplowe, a voter outreach specialist for Leon County, was at the event registering students to vote and also informing students on how they can vote in Leon County.
“Many students don’t know but they actually use their student ID along with another form of identification like a debit card to get registered here in Leon County. Both early voting and election day will be here at FAMU campus, so it’s perfect for students and people in the area.” Caplowe said.
For more information on voter registration in Leon County, visit the Supervisor of Elections website at www.leonvotes.org/votersonthego.