With presidential primaries and general election approaching, UCF's SGA is offering an online resource for voter registration and election reminders.
When students and faculty sign up free of charge on TurboVote, they can receive text and email reminders for upcoming elections, including school board and city elections. After signing up on the site, voter registration forms can be mailed to the user along with a pre-stamped envelope.
Users can also request absentee ballots and find out information about local voting locations.
Founded by nonprofit organization Democracy Works, TurboVote was launched in 2010 and partners with different universities, colleges and organizations to widen voter participation and knowledge of elections.
"From my perspective, it's [voting] one of the most important ways to express ourselves as citizens," SGA Legislative Affairs Coordinator Tyler Yeargain said. "Everything relates to our exercise of voting ... participating in the democratic process, getting out and voting, making their [students'] opinions heard is the most effective way to affect change that they want."
Yeargain said about 350 students and faculty have signed up so far on the website since SGA renewed its participation with TurboVote two months ago. SGA pays $3,000 for its contract with the organization, Yeargain said, a 25-percent decrease from the amount SGA paid last year to be registered with the website, when only about 30 students had registered using UCF's portal on the site.
"This provides students with updates either by email or by text about elections, because that is helpful, especially with presidential primaries — those things aren't necessarily as reported on as general elections are," he said.
Nada Hassanein is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @nhassanein_ or email her at NadaH@CentralFloridaFuture.com.