'Youth Vote' ready to sign up Tritons

To drum up support for Youth Vote, a nationwide campaign to increase student voter turnout, members of CalPIRG and the A.S. Council are planning a trip to San Diego City Hall.

A.S. President Jeff Dodge, Vice President Internal Jenn Brown and CalPIRG Chair Matt McFeeley will ask the San Diego City Council to sign the Youth Vote Statement of Principles Tuesday.

Youth Vote is a national coalition of organizations formed to encourage students to vote.

This year’s efforts at UCSD involve gaining administration and faculty support. A.S. Vice President External Dylan De Kervor said she is going to ask the chancellor and vice chancellor to ask them to sign the statement.

The Statement of Principles contains four, items including a student-sponsored, televised gubernatorial debate in which students may write and ask questions of the candidates. The statement also calls for same-day voter registration in California, which, if passed, would allow California residents to register and vote on election day at their nearest poll. Currently, Minnesota uses such a system.

The third item includes thorough implementation of the 1998 Federal Higher Education Act, which requires publicly funded colleges and universities to make a “”good faith effort”” to supply incoming students with voter registration forms.

State Board member and Youth Vote Coordinator Chris Noddings suggested that this might include putting a feature on Studentlink that would enable students to register to vote, or putting voter registration booklets in the UCSD Bookstore.

The fourth item encourages universities to do more to offer hands-on civic experience and participation opportunities.

“”We are working to get the political process to work for [students], to get politicians to address issues students are concerned about,”” McFeeley said

De Kervor said the goal is to get 200 people to sign the Statement of Principles.

“”I can’t see why people would not support it,”” she said.

In last year’s presidential election, only one in five students age 18 to 24 voted. Of the 300 million potential voters, this age group comprises 50 million voters.

De Kervor explained the significance of the student voting bloc.

“”As long as we are the future of this country and we do not fulfill our capacity in the institution of voting, we will not be represented.”” She said that the statement is beneficial to everyone.

Noddings said the Statement of Principles helps build movement for the organization.

“”The university presents a marketplace of ideas. It’s important we get everybody to vote. It’s a civic responsibility to get ideas rolling so that political dialogue never ends. You can’t have a democracy if people don’t vote.””

Youth Vote is co-sponsored by CalPIRG and the University of California Student Association. CalPIRG’s efforts are not limited to UC schools — it has also been supporting Cal State Universities in their Youth Vote activities.

UCSD’s CalPIRG chapter works on a variety of community service projects every quarter. .

The A.S. Council and Revelle College Council have passed resolutions pledging their support to Youth Vote’s Statement of Principles.

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