ASI Event Pushes to Inform Students About Voter Registration

Voter Registration Day occurred at the USU Plaza on Tuesday, September 25, 2019.

Oliver Yen, Contributing Writer

Cal State LA students were given the opportunity to test a new electronic polling system as part of a National Voter Registration Day event held by Associated Students, Inc. (ASI).  

National Voter Registration Day (NVRD) is a nationwide initiative to urge everyone, especially those who generally have not, to vote.  ASI hosted their annual NVRD event on campus to inform and engage students to register to vote as well as remind those who are already registered to practice their right to vote during the next election. 

The LA County Registrar had a booth at the event registering students to vote. Here, students had the opportunity to test out the new polling system that is planned to be used by the 2020 election. This system is called the Voting Solutions For All People (VSAP) project, and it is designed to make casting ballots easier for Los Angeles County residents.  

There are plans to allow voters to cast their ballot at any polling place in LA county within an election period of 11 days instead of the traditional single day, as well as multiple points where a voter can review their entries. The electronic nature of the marking system also allows for far more integrated language support, an important feature in an incredibly diverse county.  

The California Native Vote Project (CNVP), which promotes the empowerment of Native American voting participation as well as education and awareness of native issues, was also present.  They emphasized on getting native members to vote. 

“It’s extremely critical for native folks to register to vote. The voter turnout for Native Americans is really low,” said Robert Thundershield, outreach coordinator for the CNVP. 

Also present was the Center for Student Involvement (CSI), which helped support ASI by supervising the photobooth and giving students the chance to win prizes after helping spread awareness by taking pictures for social media with signs featuring the hashtags #rockthevote, #calstatevotes and #everyvoicematters. 

The theme of awareness was present throughout the event. Damarea Parker, ASI senior coordinator of student engagement and outreach, explains that every student regardless of their ability to vote can still be involved.

“Stay informed, know what’s going on, for those who have the opportunity, make sure you vote,” Parker said. “For those who have not been afforded the opportunity, know that you can still be part of the movement.”

These aims resonated with attending students, such as Don Gabreas, who said, “It’s important to get more people active within the political sphere because the things that happen in the political sphere affect our lives on campus and day to day experiences.”

For more information on California voter registration go to https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/.