June 29, 2009
09-111

Jennifer Tanner
Communications Specialist

VSU to Offer On-Campus Voting This Fall

VALDOSTA - This fall, Valdosta State University will offer faculty, staff and students the option of on-campus voting in municipal, state and national elections, according to the Lowndes County Board of Elections and Registration.

Any voter registered in Lowndes County who is attending class, teaching or working on campus can participate in advanced voting from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. the full week before every election in the University Center's Executive Dining Room. On-campus students will soon receive new precinct cards showing the Executive Dining Room as their election day polling location.

The new option is the result of collaboration between VSU's College Democrats, College Republicans and Deb Cox, supervisor of elections for Lowndes County. Working together with University officials and the Justice Department, they established the new on-campus precinct in an effort to make voting more convenient for the VSU community.

Ashley Hartt, College Democrats immediate past president, said many students on campus do not have vehicles for driving to off-campus voting locations or they do not have time between classes. The new opportunity should allow for a larger voter turnout and a stronger voice for young voters.

"I anticipate that students will take full advantage of this new opportunity and we will see an increase in the youth vote in our district," Hartt said. "Hopefully, other universities will follow our lead and our generation will no longer be labeled as one that does not care who runs our government."

College Republicans President Thomas Head said he believes the new option will bring more political candidates on campus to speak with VSU students, who will have a stronger voice - especially in local elections. He added that his organization will work hard to spread the word about on-campus voting, so that students are aware of the improved convenience.

"We are excited to be the first university with on-campus polling," he said. "Our organization and many others plan to hold voter registration drives throughout fall semester in an effort to make this new option an amazing success."

Direct any questions about voting to the Board of Elections at (229) 671-2850 or elections@lowndescounty.com or visit the office at 2808 N. Oak St. from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Rides to the election office or to early voting locations are available by calling the number above.