With state and city elections less than a month away, Mayor Ruthanne Fuller came to Main Street to encourage students to register to vote Tuesday, Sept. 25.
Fuller, with help from the Center for Civic Engagement and Service, student-athletes, and city employees, set up tables along Main Street in an attempt to “sign up as many people as possible to pre-register or register to vote,” Fuller said.
Fuller explained that a major part of Tuesday’s visit was to discuss voting with students of all ages, even those below 18.
“While you have to wait until 18 to vote, part of what we are doing here today is pre-registering students,” Fuller said. “This way, if you sign up now, you don’t have to remember and you are immediately signed up to vote for the next election when you turn 18.”
Co-director for the Center for Civic Engagement and Service, Claudia Wu, who helped in organizing the event, said she considered it to be a success.
“I think we had close to 140 people register or pre-register to vote, depending on their age,” Wu said.
Wu added that success was not just in the numbers, but in educating students about political activism. “Part of it is also an awareness and the knowledge that one should get involved in the politics, wherever you are. Another part of it was also an education and visibility piece of the importance of voting,” she said.
Wu said that the Athletic Leadership Council, a group of varsity sports captains, helped out as a part of a community service initiative.
“This year the athletes and their teams are all doing community service projects in their season and one of the projects that they have focused on is helping out during voter registration,” Wu added.
Senior Ava Waters, a girls track captain, helped out with the registration tables and reiterated the main goals of the event.
“There is such a range of how politically active people are,” Waters said. “But in general, we have to be more involved, whether at a state level or a national level. It’s just important that we get everyone involved, and that was the goal of the mayor’s visit.”
North students have already set positive examples by taking steps to better their community and engage in politics, according to Fuller.
“You are leading us,” she said. “A big example of that is concerning gun control. Adults are catching up to kids, not the other way around. Students have really been the leaders on that and we just need to make sure we follow your lead.”
Fuller plans to be back to North two more times this year to encourage young voters to register and pre-register. She added that voting booths will be set up at both North and South on Oct. 29 to “encourage as many people as possible to vote.”