by Graciela Becerra
The College Democrats will be hosting the League of Women Voters during a voter registration drive at the college this week. The registration drive will take place Wednesday, March 9 and Thursday, March 10 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Commons.
Those hoping to register during the voter registration drive should bring proof of U.S. citizenship. The drive is open to students, college employees and members of the community. For a list of acceptable documents, visit the Johnson County Election Office’s website.
Chris Roesel, member of the Student Senate and College Democrats, expressed the importance of students voting in the upcoming elections.
“For students, there are a lot of issues that concern us this year,” said Roesel. “All of those are issues that will strongly affect students and students can either be heard by the system or the same thing can happen as usually happens, and the system is heard by the older people, the richer people, the more conservative people. … If [students] want the government to respond to [their] needs, they better be heard.”
Roesel thinks the complications of the American voting system combined with a general lack of understanding potentially keeps students away from voting.
“I think it takes a little time to learn how the American system works,” he said. “Students … aren’t being told on getting registered and voting so they don’t think it matters. But as people live longer, they find out, ‘Yeah, this matters a lot.’ So with age we learn that we better get in there, otherwise we’re going to be ignored.”
For those thinking a single vote won’t make a difference, Roesel stressed the idea of never knowing for sure how much of a difference one vote might make.
“I interviewed the commissioner of elections for Johnson County. He told me in the past elections that a number of elections … were decided by no more than 12 votes, some of them by as few of three votes so if two or three more people had voted, a different candidate would be the representative,” he said. “You don’t know when you’re voting, whether your vote is going to be the decisive vote, for or against a candidate. But if you don’t vote … you didn’t have a say in it.”
For more information on the League of Women Voters, visit their website at www.lwvjoco.org.