Students raise awareness for spring voting season

Truman State University Student Government is spreading information and getting students prepared for the upcoming Democratic primary election for president.

The Democratic primary is taking place Tuesday, March 10. Registered voters can vote in the primary election for the Democratic candidate they want to see become the Democratic nominee for president of the United States. That nominee will then challenge the Republican nominee for the presidency.

Truman’s Student Government is once again getting involved with the election season. Student Government President Deanna Schmidt said Student Government does a variety of activities related to the campaigns.

Schmidt said spreading awareness for elections is a big goal of Student Government. Student Government used social media to provide information to students about polling places and reminders to vote.

“A big part of what we are doing is trying to emphasize to students how important this is, since it’s a presidential election year,” Schmidt said. 

 The election this year is during Truman’s spring break, which raised some problems for Student Government. They have been raising awareness and instructing students on how they can still vote even when students are off campus for break. 

If you are registered to vote in Kirksville, you can choose to vote absentee in person at the Adair County Circuit Clerk office in Kirksville City Hall until March 9, the day before the primary election. Another option is to vote online. The deadline for registration has already passed for the Democratic primary, but you can register now for the general election. 

Schmidt said she encourages everyone to register to vote and follow through with the process. She stressed the importance of the election, as students’ four years at Truman are shaped by the people they elect. 

“I think we are a very diverse microcosm of Missouri, and especially Missouri college students,” Schmidt said. “I think that young people in general have a lot to say in elections, so that’s one reason we really want to get Truman students out.”

Emily Smith, External Affairs Committee chair, led the voter registration drive. This activity allowed students a chance to register for the election. Over 50 students turned in forms, which were then taken to the county courthouse.

Smith is also working on informing students about the election. She thinks it is very negative that the election falls on spring break this year. She said it is harder for students to get out and go to their polling location when home for break.

“It’s a lot easier to vote here in Adair County when we are here at the school, because we have the polling stations in the [Student Union Building] so it reminds kids to vote on the day polls are open,” Smith said.

Other student groups on campus are getting involved in the election as well. Griffin Roster, vice president of Political Science Students Association and member of College Democrats, said College Democrats got involved during the Iowa caucus. Members did polling and canvassing in Iowa during the caucus. Members canvassed neighborhoods by knocking on doors to provide information about different candidates.

Roster said he does not think the election being over break will be a negative influence for student voters.

“They want to represent their community, and I don’t know if Kirksville is really everyone’s community,” Roster said. 

Roster said he thinks students have a very strong impact on the election and in politics. He said Truman’s demographic is one of the least mobilized yet largest in population. Roster encourages students not interested in politics to still become informed about candidates and vote.

“If we do go out there and vote, our opinion will matter just as much as any other age demographic,” Roster said. “It’s very important that voters go out and speak with their vote.”