Voter Registration

By Devin Leith-Yessian

Sitting behind a stack of 500 forms, the president of the Central Connecticut State University College 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.

Around 480 registration forms were left blank at the end of the day. “It is discouraging to hear people say that their vote doesn’t count,” said President of the College Democrats Wyatt Bosworth.

Before the 2012 election, Democrats passed a law allowing same day voter registration and online registration. This allows unregistered voters to register 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.

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 the same thing at the table. They think the government is corrupt, which they’re not wrong,” said Kristina Carvalho, Secretary of the CCSU Democrats. “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 Democrats’ table was Kaila Robinson. While she was already registered, she needed to change her address. This meant she had to file out another registration form. While she wasn’t particularly excited about Clinton, she said that it came down to “whatever I have to do” to stop Trump.

Similar to Robinson’s situation was Adam Offutt, who was also changing his address to a CCSU one. He said he doesn’t hear many people his age discussing politics or their intention to vote. What Offutt and other students seemed to agree on was dissatisfaction with the candidates that were running for office this year.

Standing in sharp contrast to Offutt and Robinson’s political orientation was Brandon, who preferred to not give his last name. Brandon labeled himself as a Republican. He wore a jacket adorned with a Confederate flag.

Brandon would have voted for Ted Cruz in the primary had it not been for an error with his registration marking him as an Independent. Although his vote would have been cast for Cruz only because Scott Walker had already dropped out. One spot of agreement he shared with Robinson and Offutt was 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 fears a continued gridlock without presidential and congressional unity. He also believes that the economy, which he described as just beginning to “skyrocket,” would suffer with Clinton as president.

Regardless of the difference in political opinions, Bosworth asked Brandon if he was registered to vote. After a cordial conversation regarding the candidates Brandon left, leaving Bosworth to continue trying to find more students to sign up.

Despite only registering a few students, Carvalho was still optimistic about their work. “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?”