Student Government’s Office of External Affairs has hosted a slew of activities over the past few months to encourage students to vote.
In partnership with HeadCount, a national organization that collaborates with musicians to promote participation in politics, Leslie Leavoy, mass communication senior and SG’s director of External Affairs, held voter registration drives for students for about six weeks during table-sits in Free Speech Plaza.
“We would have table-sits two or three times a week for about six weeks, and we would register at least 20 students every time, so we consider that a pretty good turnout,” she said.
The University only allows registered student organizations to hold table-sits, so SG was an avenue through which HeadCount held registration drives because HeadCount was not a registered student organization at the time, said Jonathan Brothers, psychology senior and HeadCount’s Baton Rouge team leader and New Orleans co-team leader.
Many students told Leavoy and Brothers they were already registered to vote, but many also asked about voting early, voting locations.
But when External Affairs noticed how many students asked about absentee voting, SG created the “How to Absentee Vote!” Facebook group page within the University’s group pages. The page lists the Secretary of State websites for every state for students to learn how absentee ballots operate in their state.
“We got a really good response to that, and I think absentee ballots and voting early is becoming really popular on college campuses,” Leavoy said.
Leavoy said she plans to study why students choose not to vote because the choice not to do so “irks” her.
“In national elections with the Electoral College at work, there is a sense that everyone knows how Louisiana is going to vote,” she said. “It’s been Republican forever, so everyone just assumes it’s going to go like that. Just because it may or may not do that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t exercise a fundamental right.”