One of the oldest ways that allows Americans to have a voice is voting.
Geaux Vote LSU is a nonprofit student organization that encourages students to vote.
Geaux Vote's parent organization, The Andrew Goodman Foundation, was founded after three people were killed by the Ku Klux Klan while defending voting rights in the south at the height of the Civil Rights movement.
Political science and sociology senior Kaylee Valencia said the club helps students become more civically engaged and assists them through the registration process.
“I think that voting is one of the most critical parts of the political process, voting is not everything, but it is a huge part of being able to have your voice heard and holding the people that are in power accountable for their actions,” Valencia said. “That is one of the most important parts of the current movement and our current state of our world and the country.”
Many younger people think they do not have a voice or that their vote does not matter — young voters are outnumbered by older generations, according to the Census Bureau. With this point of view, it is much harder for change to happen or new voices to be heard.
Mass communication junior Lauren Leonard said voting is so much more than a civic duty.
“It is about harnessing the power that we have over the things that we care about,” Leonard said. “I think it is very very easy to think our voices don’t matter when it comes to voting, especially when it comes to young voters, but notice the voices leading the movements like right now are extremely young.”
It can often be overwhelming when trying to get involved in activism. One of the easiest places to start is being informed on local and national people in office and voting in elections.
“If you want to get involved with activism but don’t know where to start, getting out to the polls is an excellent first step,” Leonard said.
Geaux Vote also partners with Turbo Vote to help students register to vote. It also sends election reminders and helps out of state students know how to register to vote and use absentee ballots.
“We have a large Texas tiger population and they can use Geaux Vote to facilitate the process because Texas doesn’t have online registration,” Valencia said. “Through Turbo Vote, they can get all the paperwork sent to their address completely for free.”
Posting support on social media will only do so much. The way to make major change is going to the polls and voting for those who will help make the change happen.
“If you tell someone that you care about them you shouldn’t stand idly by and allow someone to be elected that will hurt them,” Leonard said. “If you posted a black square on Instagram and aren’t at the ballot box in November think about what you really posted it for.”
The Louisiana presidential primary was originally scheduled for April 4, but was moved to July 11 amid the coronavirus outbreak. The online voter registration deadline is June 20.