Organizations join to stress voting pros

Florida A&M University student organizations swarmed The Set to recruit prospective voters for Tuesday’s Florida presidential primary election.

Strike the Vote, a student-run voting initiative, set up table displays with information about the importance of voting.

“We are pretty much standing on The Set all day, encouraging students to vote,” said Matthew Hillman, 19, a sophomore economics student from Orlando and member of Strike the Vote. “It’s important for African Americans to have a voice in the government and how things are run.”

Students found the information provided by organizations like Strike the Vote helpful.

Alexandria McCloud, 18, a freshman biology student from Miami, said she was happy to see Strike the Vote on The Set because she didn’t know where to go to register.

“My parents have been getting on me to register to vote in Leon County for the past two weeks,” McCloud said. “I think if they weren’t here, I wouldn’t have done it.”

Members of the FAMU Green Coalition also helped recruit new voters to the polls.

Markita Samuel, 21, a senior history education student from Fort Lauderdale, said it was a joint effort by the Vote coalition and the Green Coalition to get students to vote.

“I participated in the voter registration on Friday,” Samuel said. “We made sure students knew about the elections today. It’s part of our Focus of the Nation program.”

Samuel said it is important for FAMU students to register to vote because it gives them a voice in politics.

“Despite the number examples of how one or two or a couple of votes change an election, I think it’s one of our best democratic ideas to speak up as a citizen,” Samuel said. “It’s nice as a citizen to participate…to know you have a voice at least one day out of the year.”

Norman German, a member of Strike the Vote, agreed with Samuel.

“Voting is the no. 1 right, which allows other rights to be applied,” said the 18-year-old freshman industrial engineering student from Chicago.

To catch the attention of prospective voters, German said when students walked by the table she asked if they have registered to vote.

“If they have voted, we let them by,” German said. “If they have not, we ask them to please go vote. If they are not registered in Leon County, then we will register them in Leon County.”

German also said they explained Amendment 1 to the students who approached the table.

“We are explaining what it means,” German said. “People have to be aware of what they are voting for.”