MILLEDGEVILLE, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Several students at Georgia College plan on watching the debate on Monday night and they’re encouraging their peers to vote.
Event organizers say the power of the young vote can sway an election.
“It really is a way for them to embody the democratic spirit,” Janet Hoffman-Clark, an assistant professor at the school, said.
Vote by vote, opinion by opinion…
“At Georgia College in 2012, 81% students registered to vote which suggests that they intended to vote, they wanted to vote, but in fact only 43% only ended up voting in that election,” Steven Elliott-Gower, another assistant professor said.
A low turnout Elliott-Gower wants to turn around. He and Hoffman-Clark are getting their classes, and the community, involved in the voting process.
“It’s especially important to help get students registered to give them the information that they need to know about early voting, about absentee balloting, and kind of the ways to get them involved,” Hoffman-Clark said.
Some students are becoming aware of their voting power.
“I think it’s just staying current with news instead of just going with what our parents say or whatever influence we have around us, but if you really try and come at everything from a different perspective, I think you can understand whatever and form your own opinion,” Matthew Hood, a college junior, said.
“Some people might not know about the candidates’ policies and stuff that they stand behind and that may be a key reason why people don’t come out to vote,” Kayla Jackson, a college freshman, said.
A reason the professors are trying to teach.
“2008 was a historic election, this year it looks like it’s a historic election too. So I think that being able to energize students and activate them and just kind of really get them thinking about how important their role is,” Hoffman-Clark said.
Leaving their classrooms informed and prepared.
“It represents a buildup to that point where students decide, ‘I’m going to vote this year,” Elliott-Gower said.
Staff and organizers plan on having different booths available to help students register to vote in the upcoming election.