Voter registration deadline Tuesday

Nathan Graham Practicum Contributor

Form must be complete, mailed by Tuesday

The Associated Students of Oregon State University ASOSU is helping getting students registered to vote for the upcoming elections.

The deadline for voter registration for the upcoming May primary is tomorrow. Those that want to vote must have a completed registration form in by that date.

Tabitha Pitzer, the ASOSU director of government affairs, explained that students have several different opportunities and resources available to them on campus to register.

“Students can register to vote in either the ASOSU offices, in the MU quad from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (April 26), or online,” Pitzer said.

Pitzer said there is a connection between the number of students that register to vote and the amount of attention and funding that is given to higher education.

“When we register to vote, we win big,” Pitzer said. “Last year we registered over 55,000 students across the state of Oregon working with the Oregon Students Association. After that, we saw an unprecedented increase in funding towards higher education. We also saw a 20 percent increase in need based aid.”

Pitzer and others are working with the Oregon Student Association with the Vote OR Vote campaign, which is aiming to register 8,000 OSU students by the deadline.

Pitzer said the registration process is simple and quick. The short form requires some personal information like an address, identification number as well as making sure the person is a US citizen over the age of 17.

Registered voters will have the opportunity to elect several candidates as well as different executive positions in the state of Oregon.

“We are in a really unique election where, not only do we have our presidential primaries, we also decide the governor,” Pitzer said. “The governor gets to appoint trustees who set tuition. Then there are also people like our US Representative Peter DeFazio, who is up for reelection, and our state representative Dan Rayfield is up for reelection. There’s so many different seats that are opening.”

According to ASOSU member Candalynn Johnson, there are plenty of reasons as to why one should re-register.

“Another important thing for students to know is that if they moved recently they have to reregister,” Johnson said.

According to Jeff Baxter, the ASOSU director of graduate affairs, Oregon handles ballot distribution in a different way than most other states by having mail-in ballots.

“Oregon has a really unique system, I think we are one of two states that does ballots entirely by mail,” Baxter said. “It doesn’t matter where you live they will mail your ballot.”

After receiving a ballot voters must mail it back. OSU is one of two schools in Oregon that has a secure ballot drop off box on campus. The drop box is located on the first floor of the Valley Library near the information desk.

Pitzer said that the goal of the such a wide sweeping campaign to push for student voter registration is to allow for everyone to have a chance to register.

“We just want to make sure that everyone we interact with has the opportunity to register to vote,” Pitzer said.

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