Walking around campus, they seem to be everywhere.
Wherever you look, someone is standing in the Park Blocks with a clipboard in hand.
These people are often trying to get students to sign their names for the next round of ballot measures. But, recently, students are being approached and encouraged to register to vote by the Associated Students of Portland State University.
With the voter registration deadline set for Oct. 16, ASPSU has worked hard to reach its goal of getting 4,000 students to register. As this year is the presidential election, ASPSU cannot stress enough how important it is for students to vote and have their voices heard.
According to ASPSU Communications Director Anthony Stine, registered students for fall totaled 1,439 on Sept. 28. ASPSU will continue to ask students to register until the deadline.
“We [ASPSU] have been asking professors if a rep can come at the beginning of classes to speak for maybe the first five minutes,” ASPSU Vice President Marlon Holmes said. “The reps pass out registration cards…survey cards that ask people their stance on certain measures…and ask if any student would like to volunteer as a class rep and phone banking, where we call students who said they are interested if they can help us out.”
However, even with all the ASPSU leaders and volunteers going class to class, there are not enough helpers to get to every class. “Even if everyone went to speak to at least at five classes per day, there are not enough people to cover the 3,000-plus classes around campus,” Holmes said.
While ASPSU took voter registration forms during dorm move-in, this netted only small results. Holmes believed that this is because many students were already living on campus during the summer. Viking Days attracted a number of interested students from ASPSU’s many campus events, as did the booths that were set up in order to inform students of ASPSU and get more people involved and registered to vote.
“We will continue to be clip-boarding around campus and engaging people as they pass by,” Holmes said. “We will also be tabling…at ASPSU tables set up around campus. I find that students are more inclined to approach tables, especially when they pass out food. Students love food,” he laughed.
Also being distributed for the upcoming election are be pamphlets by the Oregon Student Association that give an overview of each ballot measure as well as candidate stances on those measures. ASPSU will also have the Smith Memorial Student Union Ballroom open to students on the evening of Nov. 6 (Election Day), so that students can follow the results of the presidential election.
Students who want to register to vote or get more involved may visit the ASPSU office in SMSU 117 to get a registration form or more information.