Colleges and universities step up student registration efforts
JACKSON, MS (WLBT) -
Signs with the words 'Voter Registration Drive' can be found on college campuses across Mississippi. They're just three words, which come with a significant meaning.
"We know that these young voters are capable of affecting change in their communities and by their ability to vote they can do that in a very direct way," said Robert Luckett, Director of The Margaret Walker Center on Jackson State University's campus.
Less than two months to go before the presidential showdown at the ballot box and Luckett says students are a main target for political campaigns. With issues like student loans, scholarships and federal funding being debated, Luckett says many students are paying attention.
Since school started last month, about 1,200 JSU students have registered to vote.
"This election is absolutely key in affecting their lives and their futures here as Jackson State students," said Luckett.
One of those students is JSU senior George Robinson, Jr. who registered to vote through the university last year.
"I believe it's very important for us to vote and exercise our right to do so, especially as youth coming up in today's society," said Robinson.
This psychology major knows not everyone feels the same. A recent Gallup poll found 58 percent of voters between the ages of 18 to 29 say they will definitely vote this year. That's down 20 percent from the same age group during the presidential election in 2008.
"I definitely believe a lot of youth don't realize how our voice is important in society," said Robinson.
To get young adults more politically engaged, colleges and universities across the state and nation are teaming with up with student and community groups to step up efforts.
"We've also taken the voter registration to the students and have had people working in the student government association, working in the dormitories, walking around campus in the student union and registering students wherever we can get to them," said Luckett.
To vote in November's presidential election, you must be registered at least one month before election day.
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