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Letter to the Editor: The more voter registration, the better

A variety of groups running voter registration efforts is always a good thing

Letter to the editor graphic

"Dear State Press, you've got mail." Illustration published on Friday, March 3, 2017.  

In a letter to the editor, chairman of the Arizona Federation of College Republicans Judah Waxelbaum, wrote that NextGen Arizona, the organization for which I am a regional organizing director, “does not believe in the mission of National Voter Registration Day.”

READ MORE: Letter to the Editor: USG Tempe President Hanna Salem puts personal politics over students

To put it plainly, Waxelbaum’s statement is 100% false. The mission of National Voter Registration Day is to register as many voters as possible, which is exactly what NextGen Arizona does. We register any voter regardless of party affiliation, or lack thereof. 

In fact, we are proud to have registered 2,773 new Sun Devil voters since 2018. As a whole, NextGen Arizona has registered 24,000 voters across the state in the same period of time. NextGen America which is our parent organization was an official partner for National Voter Registration Day in 2019.

Furthermore, as the NVRD website states, “National Voter Registration Day seeks to create broad awareness of voter registration opportunities to reach tens of thousands of voters who may not register otherwise.” 

Again, the mission outlined by the official NVRD website aligns perfectly with NextGen’s mission and work which is to reach young people who are less likely to participate in the political process due to systemic barriers. 

Young voter participation surged in 2018, especially among historically underrepresented demographics, and we are motivated every day to ensure that our generation’s voices are heard in American politics.  

While it’s ironic that the chairman of an organization directly affiliated with the Republican Party would criticize another organization for partisanship, we welcome any group interested in registering new voters to do so.

We are proud to be part of the Civic Engagement Coalition that includes groups like USGT, Andrew Goodman Fellowship and March for Our Lives, among others. The more groups out there making sure Arizona State students are registered, the merrier. 

In addition to our NVRD efforts, we have run Vote O’Lantern with March for Our Lives, tabling with PPGen ASU, and voter registration during move-in.

Nothing is more important ahead of our upcoming local, statewide and national elections than demonstrating the power of young people, and that starts with registering to vote. I encourage any ASU student interested in doing the critical work of expanding our democracy to get involved. 

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this letter to the editor are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The  State Press or its editors. This letter to the editor was submitted by Maria Eller, regional organizing director for NextGen Arizona.

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