What are ASU organizations doing to educate Arizona voters?

New Maricopa County Recorder and ASU clubs help to bring out ASU students to vote on Nov. 7

On Nov. 7 the Arizona electorate voted for several ballot measures that served as the first test of Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes' push for voter engagement, especially in youth — an effort also undertaken by clubs and foundations on campus.

Sending out newsletters to their followers on social media twice a month and informing members at their meetings, the Political Literates club at ASU looks to inform voters in the most unbiased way possible about politicians and political events "with no adjectives" said Trevor Tumas, the club's president, said.

Graphic published on Sunday, Nov. 12, 2107. 

"A lot of people feel that those (in the mainstream media) have a specific rhetoric that is alienating — whether it's true or not — it's attached to that bias," Tumas said. 

Tumas, a junior studying data analytics computer information systems, founded the club in August.

Victoria Grijalva Ochoa, an ambassador for the Andrew Goodman Foundation and a public policy junior said many students are passionate about politics and looking how to get involved.

"We know that a lot of students are passionate about certain aspects of policy, but they don't really know how to get involved, or they don't know the detailed processes," Grijalva said. "So a lot of the work that we do is making sure that students find those connections between what they care about and what they are passionate about."

Created two years after the Ku Klux Klan murdered its namesake in 1964 for registering African Americans to vote, the Andrew Goodman Foundation also seeks to educate and engage students politically. 

Focusing on the youth vote, the Andrew Goodman Foundation seeks to register as many college students as possible, Ochoa said. The foundation participated in National Voter Registration Day and helped more than 50 students join the voting process, she said.

Fontes, the county recorder, promised to improve access to voting in his campaign by increasing the number of voting booths and utilizing more mail-in ballots, according to his website. Maricopa elections on Thursday were done entirely by mail-in ballot, but the recorder's office still had voting booths for those who wanted to turn in their ballots in person. 

Millennials make up 13 percent of the total eligible, active voters according to the Maricopa County Recorder's Office data obtained by The State Press. The office reports that nearly 11,000 votes were cast by 18-to 25-year-olds in the Nov. 2017 election, 8 percent of the eligible voters in that age range. 

Fontes said that it is important to remember millennials represent such a large — and growing — percentage of the vote.

"Taxes are going to the government, and the folks in government are spending it," he said. "Their budgeting priorities are the moral statement that reflects the electorate." 

Reach the reporter at cbudnies@asu.edu or follow @ChaseHBudnies on Twitter.

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