Aug. 10, 2018
CWU to Participate in Statewide Student Voter Registration Challenge
With this week’s primary election now history, the political focus turns to the November 6th general election. State officials are hoping to see a higher number of college students cast ballots during the voting this year. That was the reason for the launch of the Governor’s Student Voter Registration Challenge. CWU was the state’s first four-year university to officially sign on to take the challenge, which was announced this week.
“This comes at a time when civic engagement among our college students has reached an all-time low and the need for meaningful youth involvement in our state’s political process needs the collective voices of this important segment,” said Antonio Sanchez, CWU director of Intergovernmental and International Relations. “Students will give a fresh, new perspective to the needs facing the many challenges and opportunities of our dynamic times.”
Washington Governor Jay Inslee and Secretary of State Kim Wyman hosted a conference call with schools participating in the challenge. Its goal is to have as many eligible students as possible register before the general election. Leah Mobley, the Associated Students of CWU vice president of legislative affairs, was among those participating on that call.
“I’ve always felt passionate that students need to be educated--that they need to understand what they’re voting for,” Mobley stated, adding her interest in politics began in elementary school. “They [student] need to understand that not every person across the world that is their age can cast their vote and make their voice heard in the way that we can here. It’s a right we are truly blessed to have.”
Mobley, a junior from Stevenson, Washington, will lead Central’s student body efforts to win the voter challenge. It will be judged by which schools report the highest percentage of new and updated voter registrations, and for those with the highest overall percentage of students registered to vote. The winning schools will be announced at the end of November.
During the conference call, Wyman took time to congratulate CWU for efforts it has already made to ensure more students get engaged in the political process.
Mobley points out those efforts have included adding ballot drop boxes on the Ellensburg campus. She points out that, for the last several years, Central has been actively advocating students register for and then take time to cast their ballots. She says she hopes to encourage university faculty to further support the cause during fall quarter classes.
Sanchez asserted that increased participation by students,--particularly those from CWU--is vital since they represent an important cross-section of the demographics of Washington.
“Together the CWU community brings the voices of rural and diverse communities together at a location that actively embraces our civil responsibilities and liberties,” he affirmed.
Contact: Robert Lowery, Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-1487, Robert.Lowery@cwu.edu
Photo caption: (L. to r.) Charli Sorenson from the Kittitas Valley League of Women Voters registering students in front of the CWU Student Union and Recreation Center (courtesy: KVLWV), Leah Mobley, at the Washington State Capitol in Olympia.
“Charli and the rest of the women from the League have done a great job with voter registration,” Mobley acknowledged. “Their partnership is greatly appreciated.”