As the presidential election rapidly approaches, Rattlers joined forces to host a Strike the Vote voter registration drive in an effort to ensure all Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University students are registered by Oct. 11.
During the drive, various FAMU and Tallahassee community members manned conveniently located tables across campus where they updated students’ registration information and registered many first time voters.
Participants of the Strike the Vote initiative included FAMU political science and history students, Student Government Association leaders, the Florida State University League of Women Voters, the League of Women Voters of Florida, and the School of Allied Health Sciences.
Cynthia Hughes Harris, Ph.D., dean of the School of Allied Health Sciences, said she was excited to participate in the voter registration efforts because she believes it is important that students take an active interest in the politics that will affect their lives.
“We are not here to tell you who to vote for,” Hughes Harris said to a student during the Strike the Vote Drive, “We are simply here to make sure you are prepared to vote in the upcoming election.”
Stationed in the lobby of the Allied Health building, Hughes Harris stopped numerous students, faculty, and staff members to not only encourage them to get registered, but also to participate in important dialogue about why they were not already registered or did not plan to vote.
“We have students who will walk by and when I ask them if they are going to vote, they say ‘no’ and they don’t expect me to ask them why they don’t want to,” she said. “I try to explain the importance of voting to the students, and usually after we talk it through, they end up registering to vote,” she added.
The Strike the Vote drive, which took place on Sept. 27 in recognition of National Voter Registration Day, was one of numerous University initiatives aimed at getting 100 percent of full time students registered to vote.
In August, vice presidential nominee Sen. Tim Kaine came to the campus to talk with students about the critical role they play in this election, while late last month BET Votes brought their voter registration tour to FAMU to assist in getting more young, minority voters registered.
In conjunction with the joint Strike the Vote and SGA Power of the Vote initiatives, members of the Student Government Association were also located in the cafeteria to continue registering their peers to vote.
Kiana Robinson, a sophomore political science student who was registered to vote during the Strike the Vote drive, said she was glad she finally made time to ensure her information was up to date.
“I’ve seen different organizations registering people to vote for the last few months, but I kept telling myself I was too busy to stop and fill out the paperwork,” Robinson said. “I think it’s great that there have been so many opportunities because it took so many times for me to pass by for me to actually do it,” Robinson said.