ASI shoots to register 10 percent of Fresno State students to vote

Associated Students, Inc. will attempt to register as many Fresno State students to vote up to Oct. 22 as part of a challenge issued by the California State Student Association.

The California State Student Association wants ASI to register 10 percent of the total student body, a task which could prove difficult, said Sean Kiernan ASI vice president of external affairs.

“It doesn’t sound like a lot but it is tough to register that many students. Voter turn out among college students is historically extremely low,” Kiernan said.

The upcoming election has many issues directly related to student and higher education, Kiernan said. ASI wishes to increase voter turn out among students, the first step being to get them registered. ASI also wants to register more students than the other CSU’s trying the same challenge, Kiernan said.

Many Fresno State clubs and organizations are trying to help ASI reach this goal and ASI is giving them a reward for their help. For every Fresno State student a club or organization registers to vote, ASI will give them $1.

“Using clubs and orgs, we can reach a lot more students than if just ASI did it ourselves,” Kiernan said. “We are doing it via a fundraiser for the clubs and organizations as an incentive for them to participate and to reward them for helping us.”

For many groups on campus, this is a great way to raise money while also raising awareness of an important issue, Kiernan said. With the election coming up November 6, this is students’ opportunity to have their voice heard. By registering students to vote, ASI hopes to increase student mindfulness of the importance of voting.

This fundraiser is a way to bring political awareness to students about subjects like propositions 30 and 38. Andrea Cortes of the Sociology Club said it gives organizations an opportunity to raise money.

Many clubs and organizations are also using this opportunity to educate their own members and register them to vote as well.

“I haven’t even [registered] to vote and I’m already 19,” said Paya Her, vice president of the Asian teachers association. “So I’m hoping this will be something for me to learn from and to also help my members become more aware.”

You must be 18 or older as of Nov. 6, 2012 to register. If students are already registered, but have changed their address, name, political party or would like to receive a mail-in ballot, they can re-register with any participating club or organization and it will count towards their overall total. Students can also go to the ASI office located on the third floor of the University Student Union, room 316. The last day to register with either a club or ASI is October 22.