Campaign aims to encourage students to vote

Carli Baker/Staff
ASUC representatives table on Sproul to encourage eligable students to register to vote.

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The ASUC has organized a campuswide effort that aims to register thousands of  UC Berkeley students to vote in the November election.

The nonpartisan ASUC Vote Coalition — housed under the Office of the External Affairs Vice President — is working with national organizations to register students before the Nov. 6 election. The coalition has registered about 1,100 students and campus members for this election cycle so far, according to External Affairs Vice President Shahryar Abbasi.

According to ASUC Vote Coalition Deputy Caitlin Quinn, the goal is to register 12,000 voters before the Oct. 22 registration deadline. Outreach efforts have included tabling on Sproul Plaza and volunteering with the national organization Rock the Vote, Quinn said.

“We’re trying to make voter registration very accessible to students,” Quinn said.

The coalition will lead a “Get Out the Vote” campaign after California’s registration deadline. That campaign will try to convince registered voters to cast ballots on Election Day.

Volunteers for the entire Vote Coalition campaign include students from campus groups such as CALPIRG and Cal Berkeley Democrats.

SQUELCH! Senator Jason Bellet said the campaign is important because it shows the ASUC advocating for student involvement in electoral processes.

“It can have a huge impact in setting the stage for their next four years at Cal,” he said.

According to Rock the Vote — a national organization that seeks to politically empower young people — there were 20.1 million voters out of 41.1 million eligible voters between the ages of 18-29 who cast ballots in the 2004 presidential election.

Jeremy Gordon cover student government. Contact him at [email protected]