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Politicians and student leaders host event downtown for National Voter Registration Day

Despite the light crowd, speakers and leaders at the event remained optimistic about student voter participation


Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs speaking at the National Voter Registration Day Rally at the Beus Center for Law and Society on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022.

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs was one of many guests who spoke at the National Voter Registration Day Rally at the Beus Center for Law and Society to get ASU students on the Downtown Phoenix campus registered to vote. 

Hobbs joined students and local political advocates in an event led by the Andrew Goodman Foundation and Register Her, two civic engagement groups who promote voting registration among underrepresented communities. The event was held by the Watts College Public Service & Community Solutions and had an introduction from Watts Associate Dean Joanna Lucio.

Hobbs spoke briefly about when and where ASU students could register to vote and about where to get accurate election information. She touted high voter turnout in recent years and encouraged the sparsely populated auditorium to be engaged with local politics. She asked students to spread the word about registration and sign up to help out as poll workers.

"You and your friends will hopefully stay engaged, especially at a time right now when, as you've heard already, democracy is on the line," Hobbs said.

Hobbs did not mention she was running for governor.

The first student who spoke was Izzy Redmond, a senior gymnast studying conservation biology. She spoke about a trip she took with fellow students to Alabama to explore important civil rights landmarks, where she felt the impact of her right to vote and spoke about the power college students have when they vote.

"I think that's kind of what gets lost a lot, especially with college students who are young who don't really understand that they have such an impact," Redmond said. "They have a lot of power."

Another student who spoke to rally students to register to vote was senior Fernanda Ruiz Martinez, who is an ambassador for Vote Everywhere, a Andrew Goodman Foundation college campus initiative. She said there is only so much organizations can do to get students engaged.

"There's definitely a need for students to be more aware of the importance of voting. There has been a lot of work into promoting civic engagement through myASU through the different campuses," Ruiz Martinez said. "But at the end, it comes to how else can we invite students to come to these events because some people consider that they are super political."

Juana Chavez was invited to speak with the Dolores Huerta Foundation, an advocacy group from California focusing on voting reform in underrepresented communities. She has decades of advocacy experience, talking specifically about women's voting and how important their vote is for issues like abortion rights.

She was more optimistic about the students who did show up to the event rather than those who did not.

"It just takes a few committed local individuals to go out and spread the message," Chavez said. "The people who are here are here because they're committed to our democracy and to encouraging full participation. So, I have no doubt that they're going to take what they gained here today, and spread the message to their friends and their families."

Redmond shared similar optimism about the small turnout, and said she can see the few people who attended causing a larger change after the event.

"If you can do your one little bit to pitch in and make your voice heard, then those impacts are going to ripple even larger than you think," Redmond said.

Edited by Reagan Priest, Piper Hansen and Grace Copperthite

Reach the reporter at and @shanebrennan36 on Twitter.

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Shane BrennanPolitics Reporter

Shane Brennan is a politics reporter at State Press. He also works for Cronkite News and Blaze Radio.

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