Local Politics

Raleigh college students stage voter drive

Posted September 13, 2013

— Students from Shaw and St. Augustine's universities in Raleigh delivered hundreds of voter registrations to Wake County elections officials Friday to qualify students for the local elections next month.

Friday was the deadline to register to vote in the Oct. 8 election, which features school construction and transportation bond referendums in Wake County, as well as races for four Board of Education seats and Raleigh mayor and City Council seats.

About 700 freshmen and transfer students at Shaw and St. Augustine's registered during the two-week voter drive, which amounts to about 90 percent of the freshman class at St. Augustine's and 50 percent at Shaw.

Robert Gray, a junior political science major at St. Augustine's, said the voter drive was designed to increase awareness.

"I hope to get a lot of people politically engaged, politically aware of what's going on – how politics affects where you stay, what you eat, the type of education you receive, the money you make," Gray said. "I really hope to get the word out."

Bob Phillips, executive director of voting-rights group Common Cause North Carolina, said students don't always get engaged in local elections, but this year they are.

"What we're seeing is more of an interest because of the election law passed by the General Assembly, and we've had a lot of kids register as a lead-up to this election," Phillips said.

St. Augustine's University voter drive Students: Voter registration first step in combatting NC elections law

The new state law requires voters to present photo identification at the polls starting in 2016, eliminates same-day registration and ends early registration for 16- and 17-year-olds. It also calls for changes to campaign finance and advertising regulations.

Gray said students feel like they've been targeted by the law and by the decisions of elections officials in Watauga and Pasquotank counties making it harder for college students to vote. The Watauga County board closed a voting precinct on the Appalachian State University campus, and the Pasquotank County board tried to remove an Elizabeth City State University from the local ballot, saying his dormitory room doesn't qualify as an official residence.

"It just goes to show you how pathetic elected officials can be, how stingy, how arrogant," Gray said.

He added that students need to channel their anger toward involvement in campaigns and getting people to the polls.

Durham, Chapel Hill and Fayetteville will hold primary elections on Oct. 8, with mayoral candidates on the ballot in all three cities.


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  • SaveEnergyMan Sep 13, 2013

    This is how you fight policies and law you don't agree with - through the ballot box with fair and legal voters casting ballots for what they believe. We'll see next November what the people think. Should be interesting - regardless of the side you're on.

  • ccsmith1902 Sep 13, 2013

    McCrory does not care that the students are being involved. He only listens to Pope, Berger, and Tillis, and they certainly don't care!!!

  • A person Sep 13, 2013

    Children worry about their rights.
    Adults worry about their responsibilities, and take care of their own families without holding their hand out
    Which are you.

  • Trabman_san Sep 13, 2013

    For those of you spouting that there is NO Voter Fraud, here’s only 2 examples. There are 1000’s of more examples of various types of Voter Fraud.

    Melowese Richardson, 58 - The Ohio Poll Worker Sentenced to Five Years in Prison for Voter Fraud; Voted for Obama up to Six Times


    More than 2,000 voter registration forms filed in northern Indiana's Lake County by a liberal activist group this week have turned out to be bogus, election officials said Thursday.


  • carolinarox Sep 13, 2013

    So you think exercising your rights should be more conveienant for you? Lazy liberal logic right there. But you made my point anyway, you would rather do anything than stand in line to vote because you have "better things to do", so in the end its not that important to you because if it isnt microwave fast you dont think its fair. Thats a bad attitude and you should feel bad.

    Get your IDs - Let's get one thing straight about my laziness, I work for a living, I am part of the 53% that pays federal taxes and I pay at a single rate which is the highest rate. I am also quite the capitalist, so yes time is money and my time is valuable. I want voting to be convenient for everybody, not just myself. For you to pass judgement on what is or is not important to me reflects solely upon your own character. I've been standing in line to vote since 1980 and I'll put my voting record against anyone's.

  • carolinarox Sep 13, 2013

    Does your Student ID have a picture on it? If so, case closed because that photo ID is all that should be required.

    I'm not a student. However, a student ID from a NC school even if it does have a photo is not an acceptable form of identification to vote under the new law.

  • carolinarox Sep 13, 2013

    I can easily get a hold of your voter registration card, library card or utility bill and use them to vote because none would show an image that would verify I am not you.

    Do tell how you can easily get my voter registration card, library card or utility bill? You would also have to be the same gender, about the same age, sign your name very close to the way I sign my name, be able to recite my address and hope one of my neighbors isn't in line behind you or God forbid that I haven't already voted! Seriously? We're too lazy to get an ID, but we're going to go to all that trouble with all of that risk?

  • WRAL_USER Sep 13, 2013

    When you purposely try to disenfranchise a section of a population for no other reason than your own possible benefit (read here-NCGOP and NCGA) you will lose every time... We will see these voter laws be the death-nail for the GOP in NC for quite a time to come...

  • Jack Flash Sep 13, 2013

    "Feels? I don't care what you feel like, what do the facts say? Has anyone been targeted?"

    The facts say there isn't any significant voter fraud and that the demographics most affected by new Voter ID laws vote heavily Democratic. Feeling like Voter ID laws would increase the confidence voters feel was good enough for the GOP to pass it.

  • NCHighlander Sep 13, 2013

    I totally applaud these folks. I also applaud the mega churches getting out the vote. I totally oppose the candidates they will end up supporting but I applaud their hard work. If those on my side want to sit idly by and watch leftist win elections and the country go down the drain then that's the way it should be.