Common Sense Action holds voter registration challenge
By Savanah Dickinson, Reveille Columnist | The LSU Reveille - 9/23/2014
Student organization Common Sense Action, in an attempt to get more students registered and voting, is hosting a voter registration challenge to maximize millennial involvement in the upcoming midterm election.
CSA partnered with TurboVote, a third-party group, to register 10,000 voters nation wide.
Garrett Clawson, president and co-founder of the University chapter of CSA, worked as a national policy director in Washington, D.C., this summer, where he helped to draft the agreement with TurboVote.
Each of the 40 CSA chapters are competing with one another to get more students registered. The goal is for each chapter to register at least 250 voters.
The University is ranked in the middle of the 40 chapters, Clawson said.
“Looking at November, the upcoming midterm election, only about 1 in 4 millennials are expected to vote,” Clawson said. “That’s just ridiculous. Even the national turnout is double that.”
Math junior and CSA member Daniel Bourgeois said CSA is registering voters because the government does not run itself and requires the participation of each citizen.
“In fact, sometimes it doesn’t run at all,” Bourgeois said.
Bourgeois said voting is the least a citizen can do for his or her country, and because millennials will run the country in a matter of years, they have a duty to vote now.
Clawson and his fellow CSA members have been in Free Speech Plaza raising voter awareness and registering student voters with the help of TurboVote.
Clawson said CSA aims to educate young voters without partisan bias.
The group will hand out voter guides to get students interested in campaign issues and to do individual research.
“We just want to show law makers that millennials are listening and putting their votes to action,” Clawson said. Registration is simple, Clawson said. It can be completed on any smartphone in under two minutes. TurboVote uses a University-specific link to walk people through the registration form question by question.
“It’s no more complicated than making an email address,” Bourgeois said.
Once completed, the newly registered voter will be sent an email confirming their registration.
One of the most prominent features of TurboVote allows students to register as absentee voters. TurboVote allows them to receive their mail at a different address than the one in which they are registered to vote.
TurboVote will mail these students an absentee ballot, simplifying the process for many University students who live outside their registered district.
Students who already are registered to vote can benefit from signing up with TurboVote.
“Even if you are registered to vote, we’re reaching out to those people on campus and signing them up for text message reminders,” Clawson said.
The text will remind students on Election Day where they can vote.