Empowering students to vote in midterm elections

BY ISABEL OLEA

STUDENT CONTRIBUTOR

Photo courtesy of AP Images.

The midterm elections are weeks away. On Nov. 6, U.S. citizens will go to the polls and cast their vote. Many COD students do not feel empowered to get involved and vote this year. With important decisions at stake, is our college doing anything to encourage students to vote?

Students say they haven’t seen anything around campus that reflects any sign of an upcoming election this November. There are many posters advertising financial aid and free bus passes, but students say there isn’t anything on voter registration or materials motivating students to vote.

COD student, Daniel Aldana has not registered to vote because he says, “it’s not convenient enough” for him, although he will register if given the chance. Film major, David Jacobs wants to vote this November, but doesn’t know the people running for office and wishes he knew more about their political positions. “I think it would be cool if ASCOD did something to help get students involved and informed,” said Jacobs.

ASCOD President Arturo Delgado did not respond to questions regarding on-campus voting initiatives or events. Besides ASCOD, the Office of Student Life has an outstanding opportunity to get students involved, but are they taking on the task?

ASCOD’s mission is to assist the students of College of the Desert in their journey to becoming responsible world citizens through co-curricular programs and activities that promote and develop college and community leadership. 

The Office of Student Life says they have no immediate plans to help students get involved in the U.S. midterm elections. However, Democrats of the Desert, although not affiliated with COD, is a group trying to get more students involved and to vote.

Marie Hartmann and Kelly Lightner are with Democrats of the Desert. They are helping COD students get registered before the Oct. 22 deadline. They are making voter registration simple and are encouraging students to vote. They have a booth set up outside Beeps Cafe that reflects no Democratic propaganda or affiliation to the Democratic Party.

Hartmann and Lightner both emphasize that they are not pushing students to register as Democrats, but rather, “trying to help students take the basic first step in the voting process.” Democrats of the Desert will be registering all and any voters on campus every Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. until Oct. 17.

Students who are registered to vote in the midterm elections are finding ways to get informed about the candidates running for office and ballots up for proposal any way they can. There seems to be little support from the COD’s Office of Student Life or ASCOD.

Election day is Nov. 6. The last day to register in California is Oct. 22. For a quick and accessible way to register to vote, visit www.vote.org.

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