Voting groups are stigmatized for reaching out to college students in the epidemic

Rally, NC.

Rick Hart is looking forward to the days when he woke up at eight in the morning to persuade his classmates to elect Democrats to prepare for a day of preaching on the streets of Atlanta.

Although the two college students are on opposite ends of the political universe, they face the same challenge: reaching out to young voters when the campus is empty and students are scattered across the country.

“The epidemic has hit us really hard,” said Hart, a freelance student at Morehouse College in Georgia, who works for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. , ‘What shall we do?’ “

Publicity, advocacy groups and registration agencies say they are still struggling to answer this question – and are looking for creative, essentially digital, solutions.

The coronavirus has forced many colleges to accept only online classes, which has dashed expectations of large enrollment of individuals on campus. Outdoor festivals, sports events and other public gatherings cut off more easy access for college-age voters.

There are concerns among groups dedicated to grouping young voters that are out of registration. With campuses closing, college students, especially transient ones, are confused about whether they should register at their home or school address. The shift in mail voting raises other unexpected hurdles for young voters, including a lack of familiarity with the U.S. Postal Service and even unreasonable cursing measures that could lead to a rejected vote.

Dalyel Smith, professor and chair of political science at the University of Florida, has “studied mail-balling,” said Daniel Smith, professor and chair of political science at the University of Florida.

All of these concerns are big headaches for Democrats, who rely heavily on the support of college voters and their volunteers in traditional theological campaigns. According to an analysis by the Pew Research Center, in 2016, voters under the age of 30 made up 13 percent of the electorate. This year, surveys show that age groups support Biden by a wide margin. And if they vote, they could also play a significant role in Senate, House and down-ballot competitions.

But the college has carried a traditional theological campaign to the electorate. No tables have been set between young people carrying clipboards at many student unions or concerts and rallies, said Patrick Shoe, Michigan state director of the U.S. vote, which supports Democratic candidates and progressive causes.

“All of these visibility events are important. They show strength, they help to get involved, ”Shoh said.

The Democratic National Committee and Biden’s campaign have severely curtailed the movement of activists, effectively removing the coordination of individual voters. The Nationgen America Advocacy Group, founded by former Democratic presidential candidate Tom Styre to increase youth participation, said their staff on college campuses were not paid.

The initial effects were obvious. President Donald Trump won in 2011 Carol, and Democrats are anticipating a reversal. In North Carolina, articles among young people between the ages of 18 and 29 have declined sharply since the virus closed its campus in March. It has started to rebound.

Non-partisan Voter Registration Group You Can Vote Executive Director Kate Fellman said the agency has set a goal of registering 30,000 people in the state this year. He said the group had 4,991 new registrars before the epidemic hit in mid-March. But in four months, the group has registered dozens of people.

Getting ready for that lost field means being creative. Individual students are leaning towards social media platforms to persuade young students to register to vote. NextGen is taking steps via Twitter to find potential voters and send them direct messages. Some groups and campaigns have been running old-school, stepping up phone banking efforts and noticing increased response from young people stuck at home.

There are signs that college-age people are strongly motivated to take part in elections.

Of the 39 states for which it had reliable data, the Civic Learning and Enjoyment Information and Research Center found that more young people in most states are now registered to vote than in November 2016; The battlefield states are all on the map.

The number of adult registrars in Georgia between the ages of 18 and 24 is 27% higher than in November 2016. Registration is 13% in Texas, 10% in Arizona and %% in Michigan, but down by 1o% and 10% in Ohio, while in Pennsylvania, Nevada, Florida and North Carolina almost mirrored the number of young voters registered before the 2016 presidential election.

Republican campaigners are more interested in personal campaigning. Samantha Jagger, a spokeswoman for the Trump campaign, said the campus is working to target3 target campuses and help recruit, train and activate more than 550 students on campus and online.

“Efforts to engage our youth will continue, both practically and personally,” he added.

Simon Sanders, Biden’s senior publicity adviser, oversees a program that includes more than 300 chapters. The campaign said it would recruit dedicated staff to vote on campus in more than 10 battlefield states by the end of August.

But registering to vote for college students is only half the battle.

States determine their own electoral procedures and have different policies for individual and mail-in voting. Students who register to vote using a campus address may have their dormitory or other campus accommodation closed due to an outbreak before they can vote. He also has the challenge of voting by mail, as studies show that voters in other age groups are younger than those whose mail-in ballots are canceled. Rejected ballots do not count when counting results.

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