College students, take into account changing into a volunteer deputy registrar

Based on a 2022 survey by the Middle for Info & Analysis on Civic Studying and Engagement (CIRCLE), 21% of younger adults between the ages of 18-29 who didn’t register to vote both missed the deadline, didn’t know how one can register, or had hassle with the registration course of. 

By changing into a Volunteer Deputy Registrar (VDR), college students on campus might help reverse the decades-long pattern of low youth voter turnout. VDRs are members of the general public who’re licensed to register residents to vote. Texas residents who’re U.S. residents above the age of 18 can apply to grow to be a VDR free of charge by visiting their county web site. 

As VDRs, college students might help extra younger individuals on campus register to vote and acquire useful details about the voting course of in Texas, which they will share with their pals and classmates. 

Scott Poole, VDR and president of TX Votes, a pupil group on campus, stated that VDRs are on the coronary heart of voter registration efforts in Texas. 

“The best method for individuals to get registered to vote at their comfort is interacting with a VDR,” stated authorities junior Poole. “(VDRs) are capable of register their pals to vote, they’re capable of register their friends to vote, (and) they’re capable of register strangers to vote.”

Biology junior Libby McTaggart stated that changing into a VDR in Travis County has allowed her to assist a whole lot of scholars on campus via the voter registration course of. 

“You watch a video to get oriented, and you then take a quiz that makes positive you realize what to do,” McTaggart stated. “I grew to become a VDR the start of my freshman yr.” 

Not solely does changing into a VDR enable a pupil to register voters of their county, the coaching course of additionally equips them to function a useful supply of knowledge for individuals who wish to know extra about voting. 

“The VDR coaching course of makes individuals extra conscious of … data that they may not in any other case know with out coaching,” Poole stated. “Persons are going to speak about (voting) with their pals or their household, and that will increase turnout fee.” 

As one of many largest universities within the nation with over 50,000 college students, there are numerous college students arriving on campus yearly, lots of whom usually are not but registered to vote. With extra college students licensed as VDRs, UT might help enhance youth voter registration numbers and enhance voter schooling on campus. 

College students who grow to be Volunteer Deputy Registrars can register new voters in school rooms or on Speedway, reply their friends’ questions on voting and even take part in bigger campus voter registration efforts via organizations like Hook the Vote, TX Votes and Texas Rising

As we method the 2024 election cycle, it’s essential that eligible voters on campus are able to solid their ballots. By sparing just some hours out of your week to grow to be VDR licensed, you possibly can grow to be a part of the motion to get extra younger individuals to the polls.

Mehta is a enterprise and Plan II sophomore from Frisco, Texas.