Local News

Colleges Working Hard To Get Students To Polls

Posted September 22, 2004

— With less than two months to go before the November elections, time is running out, not just for the candidates, but for students to get registered to vote.

Latoya Jefferson, a student at Methodist College, said she registers her peers to vote, but she admits it has not always been easy.

"They tell me that they really don't think that they matter or they just don't think that they matter or they just don't care or it takes too much time or they don't have time," she said.

Colleges have to encourage voting to a degree. The schools, which get federal dollars, are expected to make a good faith effort to get young voters to the polls, but some schools go above and beyond.

Students at Methodist College register people to vote, including those from out of state. They get people involved in campaigns and they speak to classes.

"After the last election, we really saw how important one vote can be and our students need to understand that importance," Methodist College professor Wendy Vonnegut said.

Student groups at nearby Fayetteville State University hold registration drives and dorm sweeps, going door-to-door signing up people.

"Now, that's just half the battle. We have to get them out there to the polls," student Shari Williams said.

Patrick Ballantine, the Republican candidate for governor, is speaking at Methodist College on Wednesday. Next week, vice-presidential candidate John Edwards' daughter, Cate, is visiting Fayetteville State University.

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