Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Letter: Same-day voter registration would increase turnout on college campuses

Only 27 percent of youth voted in the 2022 midterm elections
Judith Gibson-Okunieff/ Daily Collegian (2016)

When I turned 18 four years ago, I was so excited about getting the chance to vote in the presidential election, making my voice heard. At the time, I was naive about the realities of voting, and how easy it was for me as a young white woman compared to other members of my community. In this country, and especially as young people, we are so passionate about democracy that we have forgotten what democracy actually entails. Only 27 percent of youth ages of 18 to 29 turned out to vote in the recent midterm elections, and having been a part of the youth voter movement, I am not surprised that this number is so low compared to older generations.

As the Vice Chair of MASSPIRG, a student advocacy group working to increase civic engagement, I experienced first-hand the frustrations young people experience with the voting process. Many of my peers were unaware of important deadlines, like for voter registration or requesting an absentee or mail in ballot. Even though we tried educating as many students as possible about voting since September, when Election Day came there were still many students completely unaware of the voting process and ultimately were unable to vote. On the other hand, there were numerous students who were well prepared, but they did not receive their ballot in time and weren’t able to vote.

To avoid these issues, the best solution is same-day voter registration, which would allow students to register on their college campus on Election Day. If this country is so dedicated to democracy, then we need to streamline the voting process for young people, since we are the ones who will be inheriting this country.

Caitlyn Egan is the Vice Chair of MASSPIRG. She can be reached at [email protected].

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  • J

    John PageDec 5, 2022 at 10:27 pm

    Yes! As long as polling places are brought back on-campus as well. There was early voting on the UMass campus in 2018 thanks to student activism, but not in 2022. Students and the administration must push the Town of Amherst to host polling places (and if same-day registration passes, places to register).

    • D

      Daniel OConnorJan 3, 2023 at 9:29 pm

      Your Comment format is an opportunity to remark on a situation that far surpasses the typical proprietary relationship of a student newspaper to what it’s reporting; meaning what’s relevant and appropriate for the audience. I’m expecting a university audience and market to be less ossified and more fluid when approaching and recognizing the urgency of the following emergency…I, by the way, for the record -if there will be one- am 75 years old- and did drop into dance classes at UMass Amherst in 1974. Without more explanation, this didn’t work; except to give me an opportunity to introduce myself decades later to a disinterested crowd who are able and possibly willing to discuss the following among yourselves., and then because UMass within all it’s many manifestations is equipped to begin a wider conversation, then do so…………….while the combat and casualty count at Ukraine and Russia is climbing daily, literally. Both countries have endured a genocidal history of Holdomor and Holocaust, within memory. A transition to mass psychosis is in the cards, which are being played now. We are all more likely to survive, and unbelievably. flourish if the Game is played with the lights on; in living color or sharp black and white, or even silence if such clarifies the background tracks. But at the UMass campuses, don’t just spin around and around, unless you’re going to the Dance.