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October 21, 2004 - Image 18

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-10-21

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6B - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 21, 2004
Voice Your Vote promotes campus activism

The Michigan Dail

By Shubra Ohri
Daily Arts Writer
Vote or Die ... or at least vote.
The national movement to reg-
ister and mobilize the youth voters
of America is growing rapidly and
is becoming increasingly hard to
ignore. Since 2000, 14 million young
people have turned 18 and are eligi-
ble to vote. Though America's youth
has a record of poor voter turnout
in the past, students hope to change
this tradition in this year's election.
With youth voters making up more
than 8 percent of America's voting
population, activists recognize that
the young Americans could make
the key decision in this heated elec-
tion. National groups like Choose or
Lose, Democracy Matters, Rock the
Vote, Declare Yourself and count-
less others are motivating America's
newest swing voters. But why leave
it all to P. Diddy?
Students have brought this hon-
orable, though somewhat irritating,
phenomenon to our very own cam-
pus. With Voice your Vote members
everywhere in shirts that state sim-
ply "November 2," Michigan stu-
dents are finding it difficult to forget
even momentarily of the upcoming
election.
Voice Your Vote is by no means
new to campus. As a nonpartisan
organization, this group, which is
commissioned by the Michigan Stu-
dent Assembly, has registered voters

Voice Your Vote chairman Mike Forster displays a sample ballot. The organization has increased it; efforts to encourage voter turnout on campus.

for at least the past five years. But
with only 44 percent of Michigan's
youth voting in 2000's presidential
election, the efforts of this organi-
zation have heated up considerably.

With the help of about 200 volun-
teers, they have registered 10,038
voters and have educated an unprec-
edented number of students on how
to vote - and that's only phase
one. Now with every day that Nov.
2 draws nearer, Voice Your Vote
plans on educating, motivating, and
mobilizing the largest voter turnout
in Ann Arbor history.
Visibility is a key goal, so just
in case you somehow didn't see
them before, Voice Your Vote mem-
bers are going to saturate campus.
If you thought you saw the last of
the blue-shirted enthusiasts on the
Diag, in front of the Union, in your
cafeterias, and speaking in your
lecture halls you would be severely

mistaken. Get ready to find voting dent is, but by voting, we also put
information hanging on your door, issues important to us on the table.
in your e-mail, on the phone, on If we vote, these issues cannot be
pens and even on ping-pong balls. ignored.
The group is coordinating a mass
effort to make sure that the Univer-
sity student body doesn't forget to
vote. They will be giving out sam-
ple ballots, distributing informa-
tion explaining where students can
vote and how they can get there;
basically doing everything in their
power to ensure that registered vot- A RTS:
ers don't stay home come election
day.
The youth of America has an
extremely important role in this
year's elections. Not only do we
help decide who our next presi- C A LL US.

I

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