Sep

7

Registering to Vote: It’s Really Easy, We Promise

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Confused about registering to vote as a Columbia student? Bwog’s democracy correspondent Ali Sawyer reports that it’s easier than you think.

We Americans love our rights. At Bwog, we like to stretch the limits of our right to free speech on a daily basis. So why aren’t more college students using their right to vote?

As socially involved as we try to be, the elderly population is kicking our ass at voter turnout.

Registering to vote not only seems like a hassle; it also may seem like small change. But it’s not insignificant: if we want to hear more from candidates about student loans—not just Social Security and pensions—we have to show that we care who takes office.

And voting really isn’t that hard! Even Bwog was able to do it, with a little help from the always cheery and helpful Sam Gilbert (of CU Democrats), who clued us in on the magic of TurboVote. Just go to turbovote.org and registration will be a breeze—no more than 10 minutes, I promise. You fill out your information, print the form, and TurboVote tells you where to mail it. The site even sends you emails or texts so you don’t miss upcoming elections.

The only hard part is deciding if you should register in NYC or in your home district—you only get to do one or the other.

If you think you’re already registered to vote in the city, but can’t really remember, you should check out the Board of Elections’ handy voter lookup site. Just enter your information and it’ll let you know if you’re on the New York City voter rolls or still need to register.

If you are registered to vote in the city, keep in mind that the polling place has changed this year. That’s right: Columbia students no longer vote in Wien; now we vote in Lenfest Hall, a Law School dorm on 121st street between Amsterdam and Morningside.

And if you’re not registered to vote in the city, but you’d like to be, make sure you register soon. Unfortunately the deadline to vote in the New York City primary election (which is this Tuesday) has already passed, but you have until October 11th to register to vote for the general election in November.

So go work that right to vote!

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