With Election Day just under one month away, Huskers Vote Coalition at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is helping students become registered voters prior to the general election on Nov. 3.
Huskers Vote Coalition, part of the Center for Civic Engagement, is assisting students by providing education on registering to vote.
Lesley Esters, the interim director of the William H. Thompson Scholars Learning Community, the special projects manager for the Office of Student Affairs and the coordinator of the Huskers Vote Coalition, said that the university was prompted to create this coalition to make sure that students are engaged within the democratic process.
“Democratic engagement is an important element of being a Husker, and the coalition allows us to work together to promote students’ understanding of and involvement with the democratic process,” Esters said in an email.
The coalition has organized voter registration booths on campus in order to help students register for the upcoming election. The booths allow students to register in whichever state they will be voting in, Esters said. While an exact number of registrations is unknown, Esters said that they have interacted with over 150 students so far.
Cameron Collier, a junior political science major and committee chair of the Association of Students of the University of Nebraska’s Government Liaison Committee, has been working at the booths to help students prepare for the upcoming election.
The Government Liaison Committee has been working with the Huskers Vote Coalition to spread awareness about voting, Collier said.
“We want as many students as possible registered,” Collier said.
The students and faculty working the booths are handing out information regarding important deadlines and how to request a mail-in ballot, Collier said.
Students can visit a booth on Oct. 14, 15 and 16 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in front of the Nebraska Union to check their registration status or register to vote, according to the university’s event page.
In addition to the booths, the university is working on other ways to encourage active voter participation. Every Tuesday from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m., students, faculty and staff can participate in Dish It Up conversations happening via Zoom, Esters said.
Dish It Up allows for civil conversations and discussions regarding current events and other topics of importance to students, UNL and the rest of the world, according to their website.
Being an informed voter and knowing about candidates and ballot initiatives is important, Esters said.
When it comes to voting, every vote truly matters, and it is important for students to remember that, Collier said.
“You can possibly decide an election, which is really cool,” Collier said. “Whether it’s a local election, a state election, a county election or the presidential election, go out there and exercise your right because it makes an impact whether you see it or not.”
Politicians are more likely to vote on matters that are important to students when they see the impact they had during the election, Esters said.
“We have this ability to exercise and choose who is representing us, and it’s a right that not many people have around the world, and we kind of take it for granted,” Collier said. “I want to make sure we exercise that right.”