UCF SGA encourages students to vote with TurboVote Initiative
Published: Sunday, September 9, 2012
Updated: Sunday, September 9, 2012 14:09
The Student Government Association and the Lou Frey Institute of Politics and Government teamed up to get students informed, active and registered to vote in the November 2012 election. Together, they launched the TurboVote Initiative, which is a new voter registration program.
SGA held a TurboVote Initiative Launch in the Student Union on Wednesday. More than 50 students stopped by to receive information and register to vote. The program is a quick, easy and convenient way to assist students in their voting needs.
The site helps users register to vote, update their voter registration, request absentee ballots to vote by mail and it also sends reminders for voting deadlines.
“Turbovote is just an easy-to-use tool. In their [TurboVote creators] own words, they make registering to vote as easy as renting a DVD from Netflix. With our student body of over 60,000 I can only imagine the wonders that can come from such a tool,” said Cynthia Florentino, SGA legislative affairs coordinator.
Students can sign up for TurboVote at ucf.turbovote.org. Users will be asked a series of questions about their registration goals and once the questions are answered the system tailors the experience to the voter’s needs.
Lastly, TurboVote sends students the completed form which includes an addressed, stamped envelope ready to be signed and dropped in the mail.
Signing up for TurboVote is free. However, if participants would like completed forms to be mailed to them it costs $1.60 per form or $5 for all the mailings needed for the year. An addressed, stamped envelope ready to be sent to the local election office is included.
This year, the Lou Frey Institute is providing the funding for UCF students who use TurboVote to register so that they will not have to cover the costs associated with using the new system, Florentino said.
Many of the issues in the upcoming election affect young adults, and they are eager to have their voices heard.
“I am motivated to vote in this election because I see what Obama has already done for health care. As young adults it’s important to have health care and now that he has recently passed the new law I am able to stay under my parent’s health care plan for longer,” Cynthia Osse, a senior speech pathologist major, said.
This upcoming election is an important time for our country, and the makers of TurboVote want to ensure students are ready on Election Day. According to the TurboVote website, the U.S. is 138th in the world in voter turnout.
Terri Fine, associate director of the Lou Frey Institute, said 18- to 20-year-olds demonstrate the lowest voter turnout, and she thinks TurboVote can help increase numbers.
“There are many people who argue that the barriers to voting are the barriers to registration. So one of the ways to get young people to vote is to get them registered, and TurboVote helps with that,” Fine said. “It’s important for young people to vote because young people are just as responsible for abiding by the laws as every other person. So why shouldn’t young people have a voice in who the government is going to be, since the government has the same opportunity to hold young people responsible when they break the law?”
SGA and the Lou Frey Institute encourage students to take advantage of the innovative system and register to vote.