JARED ANGLE / THE EAGLE
A castle moon-bounce, free pizza and music will fill the Quad Aug. 30 as staff help students register to vote in the upcoming elections.
“Vote-A-Palooza is just about getting out there, having fun, getting to know the different political groups on campus and registering [to vote],” said Kathryn Tinker, president of AU College Democrats and a junior in the School of International Service.
Vote-A-Palooza concentrates on getting students involved with the voting process rather than focusing on the upcoming presidential election, Tinker said.
The event is run by the AU College Democrats and co-sponsored by AU College Republicans, D.C. Students Speak and more political clubs on campus.
Each group will host activities, including a whipped cream pie-eating contest at the Black Student Alliance booth and political quizzes with Students for Liberty. A photo booth will also be available.
“There’s definitely a bipartisan hunger on this campus for talking about issues [and] trying to find solutions,” said Josh Kaib, president of AU College Republicans and a junior in the Kogod School of Business.
Vote-A-Palooza is the first voter registration event of its kind on campus and has been in the works since last summer, Tinker said.
Absentee voters must register 30 days before an election, which puts the deadline to register for national elections on Oct. 6.
At the fair, students will be able to register either via computer or paper forms depending on the state requirements. For students concerned about whether to vote in D.C. or vote with an absentee ballot, Tinker said, “Vote where home is.”
“Too few students vote,” she said. “Using your right to vote is [a] basic step of civic engagement.”
Approximately 46 million people between the ages of 18-29 are eligible to vote in the U.S. As recently as the 2008 elections, 84 percent eligible voters actually cast a ballot, according to the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE).
College-educated young adults are more likely to vote, but the first step is getting registered. Once someone knows the process of voting and exercises their right to do so, they are more likely to vote in later elections, according to CIRCLE.
“We’re going to be more impacted by [today’s] issues,” Kaib said. “Stop and think about the fact that in a few years, you’re going to be out in the real world, trying to find a job and all of these issues will matter.”