The campaign leading up to the 2016 presidential election has been controversial.
On Lehigh’s campus, representatives from both parties are often seen stationed outside Farrington Square or the libraries holding voter registration drives. Various organizations on campus, including the College Democrats, the College Republicans and the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, have been encouraging students to register to vote and walking students through the process.
Voter registration in Pennsylvania is important to these political groups because Pennsylvania is a swing state.
If you’re a student in Pennsylvania who has moved to a new county or a new state to attend college, you can still vote. Students may choose to remain registered in their hometown, or they can switch their registration to their school address.
There are several ways to change your voter registration status, but the simplest way is to visit turbovote.com, said Max Weiss, ’17, the president of College Republicans.
“It’s important to vote because if you don’t voice your opinions, you’re not exercising the rights given to all citizens by the Constitution,” Weiss said.
Although 18 to 24 year olds made up 21 percent of the voting-eligible population in 2014, only 42 percent of 18 to 24 year olds were registered to vote and 17 percent of the age demographic voted, according to a statistic published by the Campus Vote Project.
About 70 percent of senior citizens voted in the last election, said Jigar Patel, ‘17, the president of College Democrats. Senior citizens are likely voting for what will be financially beneficial to them in the near future, however, young adults benefit from long-term financial decisions rather than short-term decisions.
“It is important for college-aged students to vote because our choices now will help shape the future of our country,” Patel said.
Lehigh is hosting a number of events to educate students on voting and the election. The political science department hosted a panel before the first presidential debate yesterday.
The panel featured the College Democrats and the College Republicans, and the two groups shared their opinions on issues related to the election.