By Amy Anderson
SALISBURY, MD---As students begin their semester at Salisbury University, the Institute for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement (PACE) in cooperation with students, faculty and administrators once again offerings students the opportunity to register to vote on campus.
An unprecedented amount of youth-targeted voter registration, in part spurred by recent turnout increases, is happening in 2006, a midterm election year. Salisbury University is among 80 member institutions of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) participating in a national, non-partisan project to register 40,000 young voters. A greater number of young adults are becoming politically active, and the voter registration drives on AASCU campuses hope to build on that momentum.
Classroom-based voter registration has been used at SU for several recent elections. In 2004, PACE students under the direction of Dr. Harry Basehart, professor of political science and co-director of PACE, visited over 100 classes, processing 353 voter registration forms and 679 absentee ballots.
“Classroom-based registration drives are important because it provides an opportunity to engage students in a discussion of why voting is important,” said Basehart. “We want students to vote, not just register to vote.”
In participating in the AASCU project this year, SU helps evaluate the effectiveness of different voter registration techniques, specifically the significance of classroom-based registration.
For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu.