Spreading the success of UVote

Susan Frank, ‘Doah Staff Writer
April 24, 2013

DSC_0015-x-e1343251525608On Friday, April 19, the Center for Public Service and Scholarship director Karen Schultz and UVote co-chairs Jordan Canankamp and Nigel Huckle spent the morning at the George Mason University Arlington campus to present on the success of Shenandoah’s inaugural Welcome Week UVote initiative to other local universities.

UVote is a non-partisan voting registration initiative, started at Northwestern University, which aims to institutionalize voting on college campuses. The various goals of UVote are to reach more students, to generalize civic participation among young people, and to provide information to simplify the voter registration and absentee ballot request process.

This past fall, Shenandoah was able to register over 90 percent of the incoming and transfer students. UVote is crucial because only 30 percent of college students are registered to vote.

The registration process of UVote is made to simplify the registration process. It begins with an intake form to collect general information, followed by the registration or absentee ballot request forms. After the forms have been filled out, all that is needed is a copy of a state ID or passport and the final step is to check for errors.

There are some things to keep in mind when applying.

The forms will vary from state to state, so make sure you have the correct paperwork for your state. Do not give away your only copy of the the state form, always make a copy. Double check that you have completed everything —  check boxes, date of birth, signatures, etc. The last helpful reminder: if you have a question, always ask! Do not make up information or guess because that can delay registration. All the information for filling out the forms can be found online or there is a phone number listed on the website.

The Shenandoah University Center for Public Service and Scholarship was the only campus selected from the East Coast to participate in this conference. The hope is to continue strengthening the initiative until 100 percent of the student body is registered and also participates in national and statewide elections.

“We can empower young people to begin a lifetime of civic engagement,” said Schultz.

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