Letters to the Editor

Voting on campus

“Blame the legislature.” That’s the message we’ve been hearing in regards to rising tuition, which can leave students feeling powerless. What can students do to change the ideology in the legislature? It’s actually pretty simple: vote.

One reason the state doesn’t prioritize higher education is because students don’t vote in large numbers. Legislators can cut university budgets and still keep their jobs. If students were a viable voting block, legislators might think twice before slashing into our funding.

Thankfully, tens of thousands of students now have access to the ballot right on campus. ASU now has an early polling location in Tempe, located in Palo Verde West. Early voting is a great option for students for several reasons.

When students go to vote on Election Day, Arizona’s strict ID requirements often keep them from voting. The address on the voter’s driver’s license must match the address where they are registered — which is not always the case for students because we move around throughout four years.

Early voting does not require identification but instead checks the voter’s signature, so the regular ID requirements are waived. Also, early voting is open for three weeks so it lets students vote on their own time and avoid long lines.

While the voting site is now open for the Tempe City Council election, the plan is to use it for future elections. This means during the fall elections, anyone registered in Maricopa County would be able to vote early on campus.

In order for the student voice to matter we have to take advantage of these opportunities. The first step is getting involved in our own community. If you are registered in Tempe, you can vote in the Tempe City Council election until March 5 at 5:00 p.m. — go make your voice heard.

Rudi O’Keefe-Zelman
Vice President of Policy, USG