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Registering to Vote

by Devin Leith-Yessian

Sitting behind a stack of 500 forms, the president of the CCSU Democrats called out to passing students, asking them if they are registered to vote.

­­­­“I don’t believe in that stuff,” responded one student, who briskly walked away.

He wasn’t alone in that sentiment.

At the end of the day, around 480 registration forms were left blank.

“It is discouraging to hear people say that their vote doesn’t count,” said president Wyatt Bosworth.

Before the 2012 election, Democrats passed a law allowing same day voter registration and online registration. This allows unregistered voters to register to vote at their polling place and cast their vote in one trip.

In New York, which lacks same day registration, the deadline is 25 days before the election. That date occurred on Oct. 14 this year.

When Bosworth and his fellow CCSU Democrats were planning the push to get people registered as they walked through the Student Center, he admitted that the 500 person goal was “aggressive.” Nonetheless, he seemed disappointed at the lack of interest, and sometimes opposition, to getting registered.

“My vote doesn’t matter. A lot of people said that at the table. They think the government is corrupt, which they’re not wrong,” said Secretary of the CCSU Democrats Kristina Carvalho. “They feel as though they don’t have as strong as a voice as people say they do.”

One student who did stop at the table was Kaila Robinson. While she was already registered, she needed to change her address. This  meant she had to fill out another registration form. She wasn’t particularly excited about Clinton, and she said that it came down to “whatever I have to do” to stop Trump.

Adam Offutt found himself in a similar situation to Robinson.

He was also changing his address to CCSU. He said that he doesn’t hear many people his age discussing politics or their intention to vote. His age group has the lowest voting turnout of any, although he did not know why.

What Offutt and other students seemed to agree on the dissatisfaction with the candidates they had to choose from.

Standing in sharp contrast to Offutt and Robinson’s political orientation was Brandon, who preferred to not give his last name.

He identified himself as a Republican and was wearing a jacket adorned with a Confederate flag. He said that he would have voted for Ted Cruz in the primary if an error had not occurred during registration. This error marked him as an Independent, which made him ineligible to vote.

A sentiment he shares with Robinson and Offutt is that he is “not at all” happy with the candidates who came out of the primaries.

While Trump might not have been his first choice, Brandon still believes he is the clear choice among the candidates in the race. He is concerned that the current gridlock will continue without presidential and congressional majority from the same party. Brandon also believes that the economy, which he described as just beginning to “skyrocket,” would suffer with Clinton as president.

Regardless of the difference of political opinion, Bosworth asked Brandon if he was registered. After a cordial conversation regarding the candidates, Brandon left, leaving Bosworth continuing to find more students.

Despite only registering a few students, Carvalho was still optimistic about the work that was accomplished.

“I would’ve liked to have seen more people, but the people we did ask were already registered, so that was refreshing,” she said. “Not all of them, but a good amount.” Trailing off from laughter she wondered aloud, “But will they vote?”