NewsPublic Affairs / September 24, 2019

National Voter Registration Day: College Students Hoping National Momentum Inspires New Voters

Original story from   Indiana Public Radio

Article origination Indiana Public Radio
Stephanie Wiechmann/Indiana Public Radio

Stephanie Wiechmann/Indiana Public Radio

September 24 is National Voter Registration Day and political groups across the state are pushing to sign up new voters. As IPR's Stephanie Wiechmann reports, college students in Muncie say they're also trying to move immediate focus from 2020 to this fall's local elections.

At a Ball State College Democrats table strewn with voter registration forms, stickers, and lollipops, students J. Galloway and Andy Hoffman are asking people if they want to register to vote - even those that don't make eye contact as they speed-walk past the table.

Galloway says she wants more students to vote in local elections.

"I'm hoping that a lot more people want to get involved in Muncie politics, because a lot of people don't realize how much Muncie politics does affect Ball State students."

Voter turnout in Indiana is among the lowest in the country. In the 2015 municipal election - where Muncie's mayor ran unopposed - voter turnout in Delaware County was less than 9 percent.

Hoffman says he thinks the momentum of the 2016 and 2018 elections are changing that for younger voters.

"There's definitely going to be more of an uptick than usual, and I think this will definitely go on to 2020. And I honestly think that, because of this, I think this generation will actually vote more than they have in the past, even as we get older."

This semester, the group has been signing up people once a week. They've seen both Indiana natives and out-of-state students who want to register.

The deadline to register to vote for November's election is October 7.

Hoosier voters can register online through the state or check their current registration on the Indiana Voters website.

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