Nov. 4, 2014, is more than just a day to vote; it is a day to express your voice, to make your opinions heard and to exercise your right to have a say in who represents your interests in both state and national government. There is an undeniable feeling of patriotism involved in walking into the polling place, checking names on a list of candidates and casting your ballot—knowing that your vote literally could make a difference. Fair and free voting is one of the blessings of living in a democratic society, and the Founding Fathers recognized civic engagement as essential to maintaining a free and prosperous society.
If that is the case, why is it that so many people do not get around to voting? Usually the reasons given are pretty common—things like, “I have class/work,” “I don’t have a ride to the polling place,” “I never got around to registering to vote.” While these are all understandable—especially in college, when you have 1,001 assignments and obligations—they should not be roadblocks to exercising your rights and voicing your political opinions. With that in mind, SGA has partnered with the College Hill Alliance to promote civic involvement by making voter registration much easier through TurboVote.
TurboVote is an online service that allows users to register to vote in a matter of minutes. All that it takes to register is logging on, answering a few questions about yourself and your residence and submitting your registration. In addition to registering to vote, TurboVote acts as an information service that will send you reminders about upcoming elections. If you live away from your permanent residence (such as on campus away from home), you can request an absentee ballot from your home county/state through TurboVote; you do not have to forego voting just because you live a long way from home. You can even vote through an absentee ballot if you live on/near campus and cannot get to the polling place. Just request one, fill it out and mail it in!
Mercer SGA and College Hill believe strongly in the power and importance of civic involvement and are working to make that easier and more accessible to everyone. Looking at Georgia, for example—control of the United States Senate could conceivably be decided by a few thousand votes in Georgia. The importance of each vote cannot be understated and is only amplified in local elections. This firm belief in the benefit of voter registration/engagement is why SGA and College Hill have been collaborating on a number of ideas to promote voting, such as partnering with several other local colleges to bring you the Turn Out to Vote concert featuring Ben Rector.
If you never want to worry about when voting again, visit collegehill.turbovote.org.