In just two weeks, on Nov. 3, Bellarmine students will join college students across the country in exercising the right to vote.
This election is especially important for us because our age group can truly make a difference. Millennials and Gen Z will make up the largest share of eligible voters in 2020.
But, to seize that power in numbers and make our voices heard, we have to commit to voting. Historically, results show that people our age vote at lower rates than older adults.
According to Campus Vote Project, a national nonprofit that encourages college students to vote, there are a number of reasons that prevent fellow college students from making it to the polls. We’re the newest members of our democracy, move more frequently, are less likely to have a driver’s license and are less likely to be contacted directly by political campaigns then older people, all of which are barriers to registering and voting.
There are reasons to be hopeful those trends are changing. Student turnout made modest gains from 2012 to 2016 and greater gains from 2014 to 2018.
Let’s keep that momentum going and continue Bellarmine’s proud voting legacy. Bellarmine is the only private college in Kentucky to be designated a voter-friendly campus by the Campus Vote Project. Bellarmine is also a member of the NASPA Lead Initiative on Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement. NASPA colleges and universities are committed to making civic learning and democratic engagement a part of every student’s experience.
“We hope students come to understand and appreciate the power of their voice and use it for the greater good,” said Bryan Hamann, interim director of Student Activities. “We all have an opportunity to contribute to positive social change and voting is a foundational part of that."
So, let’s do this Knights, let’s get out and vote!
Voter registration: Even though Oct. 5 was the last day one could register to vote in Kentucky, other state’s register deadlines vary. If you are from out of state, check your state’s deadline and register to vote before it is too late! If you aren’t registered and don’t know how to, the process is easy and efficient. You can go to your states’ website and input your information to register. Or, go to the website https://www.vote.org/register-to-vote/ and input your information and you’re finished!
Voting by mail: Because of COVID-19, many people are voting by mail. If you are registered, go to your state governments website, find the form online and fill it out. Any registered voter can request and absentee ballot. Some states allow you to scan and email the form back with a signature or mail the absentee application to your local clerk’s office.
More information: Bellarmine has lots of voting resources and answers to any questions you might have here.
Important dates and events:
- Early Voting: Oct. 13 - Nov. 2 2020
- Vote Early Day: Oct. 24, 2020
Hello, I'm Abigail Burke, and I am currently a senior at Bellarmine University. I am majoring in Communication in hopes of pursuing photography and writing. I have been so honored to call Bellarmine home these last four years. Today, I am encouraging you to vote!