With National Voter Registration Day Tuesday, students can register to get to the polls for several elections before the Oct. 9 deadline. 

With nearly 17,000 on-campus students enrolled, various organizations are pushing for eligible voters to fulfill their civic duties. 

“Students should get out and vote because we have a large voice to be heard,” said junior secondary life science education major Jackie Weisenfelder. “Students often bring different perspectives to the table in terms of political ideas, and we can make an impact at the polls. We hold the power to decide which direction we want to steer our world in.” 

On Tuesday, the College Democrats organization is teaming up with the Residence Hall Association and Student Government Association to hold a voter registration drive on campus to help students take a first step. 

“Everyone talks about how they want change but no one wants to take initiative and go about doing so,” said freshman nursing major Cheyanne Wims. 

According to a Pew Charitable Trusts study, when Voter Registration Day was put in place in 2012, 51 million eligible U.S. citizens were unregistered, which is more than 24 percent of the population. In 2016, the number of voters increased to 60 percent. 

Wims said that regardless of where voters are, their vote still counts and Weisenfelder said college students especially start start exercising their civic right. 

“In college, some of the issues start to have a larger effect on our world and our everyday lives,” Weisenfelder said. 

Indiana residents can register to vote at indianavoters.in.gov. Students who reside outside the state can register to vote on their state’s voting website. Those who are not registered can also register at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles if renewing a license or in person at a county clerk’s office. 

During this upcoming election cycle, people will cast their votes for local, state, county and district positions. The ballot also includes one state senator position in addition to secretary of state, state auditor and state treasurer. Local voting pertaining to school funding also will be available on the ballot. 

“I think by not voting or registering to vote, people are missing an opportunity to make change and impact how our nation functions,” Weisenfelder said. 

Contact Tyree Jakes with comments at tjakes@bsu.edu.

To check out our video on how to register to vote online and links, click here: http://www.ballstatedaily.com/article/2018/09/register-to-vote-2018