Students register students on National Voter Registration Day

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Tyler Schmidt, senior in organizational communication, and Jacob Sims, senior in communication studies, help students register to vote at Hale Library on Sept. 27, 2016. (Abby Cambiano | The Collegian)

Students in leadership studies, a political communication class and the Student Governing Association partnered up to help their classmates and constituents register to vote at five locations throughout the Kansas State campus on Monday for National Voter Registration Day.

Dan Burger, senior in entrepreneurship, was working the booth at Nichols Hall. Other locations included the K-State Student Union, Hale Library, the Leadership Studies Building and the Chester E. Peters Recreation Complex.

Burger said registering only takes two steps and could not be any easier for students: first, fill out a voter registration form at the booth, and then submit proof of citizenship to the county clerk’s office.

“As a millennial, I feel like it is our civic duty just because so much of politics is starting to affect us more and more,” Tyler Schmidt, senior in organizational communications, said.

Sadie Manley, senior in communication studies, said “a decent amount” of students had taken the time to register at the booth in Nichols.

“Everyone should be doing so though,” Manley said. “It’s a big election year, their voices matter and they should be exercising that right we have.”

The last date to register in Kansas to vote in the general election is Oct. 18, according to the “#voteMHK” handout given at the registration booths.

Rick Dewees, senior in sociology, was working the voter registration booth in Hale.

“I think it is important to know that your voice matters,” Dewees said. “Even when this election can seem huge, we are not insignificant. Even us as young people or millennials are significant in this election. We may be young, but we matter. We have a voice, and everyone should know they have a right to use it.”

Dewees said the hardest part is getting people to take the time to register.

It takes less than two and a half minutes to register, according to Schmidt, who said he was disappointed when people would keep walking by without registering in Hale.

“People here should be registering,” Dewees said. “It is so convenient to do it here on campus, and we have all the information you could need.”

Jake McAllaster, sophomore in economics, said he was very excited to have the opportunity to register on campus.

“I had been hoping someone would set (a voter registration drive) up on campus,” McAllaster said. “I was not 18 at the last election, and with this upcoming election I was not really sure how to go about registering. So I’m glad they had all the paperwork here to get me taken care of.”

It’s important for people at a young age to start civic engagement early, Dewees said.

“Studies actually show that the younger you get engaged and start voting, the more likely you are to keep voting and staying engaged in our democracy,” Dewees said. “And it is the voting right that keeps us a democracy.”

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Hi, I'm Kaitlyn Alanis, former news editor for the Collegian and a May 2017 graduate in agricultural communications and journalism. I have never tried a hamburger and I hate the taste of coffee, but I love writing stories and sharing what I learn with our readers. By writing for the Collegian, I can now not only sing along when the K-State Band plays "The Band is Hot," but I also know that most agriculture students did not grow up on a farm, how to use an AED to save someone's life and why there is a bust of MLK Jr. outside of Ahearn Field House. Thanks for reading!