VoteSC registers 2,000 students using online platform

first_imgVoteSC hosted an event on National Voter Registration Day, when it registered nearly 500 voters. This year, VoteSC signed up a total of 2,000 student voters through the online platform TurboVote. (Ling Luo | Daily Trojan)VoteSC signed up an estimated 2,000 student voters by Monday’s California voter registration deadline, a substantial increase from the 411 students were registered in 2016. VoteSC used the online platform TurboVote, which helps users register to vote, receive absentee ballots and be reminded of important deadlines. Previously, VoteSC set up a “Midterm Monday” table on Trousdale Parkway every week to register students and answer questions about the election. On National Voter Registration Day, it hosted an event that registered nearly 500 students. Now, VoteSC will focus on reminding student voters to head to the polls on Nov. 6 or send in their absentee ballots by their respective state’s deadlines. During the voting process, VoteSC plans to have free stamps at Customer Service Desks throughout campus for students mailing absentee ballots, according to Unruh Associates Director Eleonora Viotto. Briana Miles, director of the Political Student Assembly, said pushing for student voter registration from the start of the semester rather than having a National Voter Registration Day drive alone would be more efficient. She also said buying the TurboVote software improved these numbers by making it easier for all students to register. “[TurboVote] makes everything so much easier,” Miles said. “You don’t always have to have somebody right there handing out a paper form and making sure they’re filling it out correctly. Everyone can interact with it wherever they are.”Viotto said that VoteSC will host an election viewing party in Wallis Annenberg Hall for students on Nov. 6. Viotto said she encourages registered students to vote so they can use their voices to help shape policy. “If everyone that is registered to vote showed up to the polls on election day, whatever they voted as a block would be the law of the land because there’s just so many Generation Z and millennials now that we outnumber every other demographic,” Viotto said. “If we want to shape the country to reflect our values and what we think our country should be, then we need to show up to the polls and really vote the way that we say we will.”Going forward, USG Director of External Affairs Alec Vandenberg said VoteSC wants to reach out to the University administration to better integrate voting and voter registration into campus. With help from administrators, Vandenberg said VoteSC could reach all undergraduate and graduate students. Viotto said that she hopes VoteSC will continue after she graduates. The coalition paid for the TurboVote platform through 2020, but she said they hope administrators will also help invest in the software. She also said that she would like USC to adopt some of UCLA’s practices, including registering eligible student voters during new student orientations and encouraging more students to become politically involved. “We’re really hoping to take what we’ve learned this year and all the results that we were able to achieve and really show them the value of investing in this platform and making it a part of USC’s culture the way other schools, like UCLA for example, have embraced it,” Viotto said.Vandenberg said the coalition also hopes to find ways to encourage political participation in non-election years and eventually reach out to high school students.“In terms of campus culture, if I could see excitement around voting in off-election years, not even just midterm election years,” Vandenberg said. “I think that would be really rewarding just to kind of solidify that into the campus fabric that civic engagement extends throughout time.”last_img