Wartburg will be hosting a satellite voting station this year, making the voting process easier and more convenient for students.
Voting and registration will be available to all U.S. students, faculty, staff and the public Oct. 17 and 18, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Lyceum.
Adam Yotter, the Student Senate Academic Ombudsperson, said his personal goal was to get more students politically active. The trend shows that young people do not turn out to vote, and said he would like to see that change.
“People don’t realize that their vote can change their future. They may not realize it has a direct impact, but it does. I really want students to understand that,” he said.
The efforts of Craig Gaureke, a senior, the Wartburg Democrats and the Democratic Party of Iowa made the satellite voting station possible this year. Members of the organizations went through a four week process to collect signatures and get approval from the State of Iowa Auditor. The petition required 40 percent of signatures to be from students.
“Students in college right now are the future so to get their voice heard is very important,” Gaureke said.
Students can register the day they vote. Students from Iowa need their driver’s license number or the last four digits of their social security number. Out-of-state students just need the last four digits of their social security number.
Yotter said that he would like to see students do their civic duty and vote so that their voices can be heard.
In an effort to spark interest in the important issues in this year’s elections, Yotter and the Wartburg Political Action Committee hosted a debate on campus last Thursday. The Political Action Committee did not provide information on specific candidate platforms at the debate.
“I call it an open forum because I want it to be a time for students to give their opinion,” Yotter said.
About 10 students gathered to discuss their opinions about issues such as education, the economy, health care reform, tax reform, energy and the environment as well as national security and foreign policy.
DJ Grant said he attended the debate to see how other people on campus thought. As a political science major, he wanted to scout out other opinions and said the students present were a good cross section of campus.
Grant plans to use the early voting on campus later this month.
“Hopefully the student population comes out to vote this year,” he said.
Members of the Political Action Committee have also been researching the political platforms of both the Democratic and Republican parties. The information will then be shared with students using posters around campus, Yotter said.
“I really encourage Wartburg students or any college students to take advantage of early voting opportunities that arise because it is a lot easier,” Yotter said.