Marshall University Celebrates Voter Registration Day

Matthew Schaffer, Student Reporter


Students gathered outside of Marshall University’s Memorial Student Center on Tuesday, Sept. 20, to help encourage voter participation for National Voter Registration Day. 

The event was held as a part of the “Vote With the Herd” campaign, which featured resources for students to register to vote and check their voting status, as well as opportunities to learn about the upcoming midterm elections which will place on Tuesday, Nov. 8.  The event was hosted by the John Deaver Drinko Academy alongside the All In Campus Democracy Challenge and the Voter Friendly Campus Campaign.

“What takes place in our city council, in our state legislatures, in our congress, in our executive branch, those decisions do affect our everyday lives,” Dr. Montserrat Miller, history professor and executive director of the John Deaver Drinko Academy, said. “I think that what we’re seeing is that a whole lot of young people are coming to that conclusion.”

“Student voter turnout has seen an increase between the 2016 and 2020 general elections, with Marshall University seeing a 12.8% increase in student voter turnout,” Miller said. However, participation in midterm elections has historically remained low compared to that of the general elections.

“Typically,” Miller went on to say,  “voting rates trend down during midterm elections. We want to do everything we can to facilitate voter registration for Marshall students, whether they’re from West Virginia or not.”

Alongside representatives of the Drinko Academy and partnering programs, students volunteered to help their fellow students learn more about voter registration. The majority of volunteers were members of the Student-Athlete Advisory Council, which began the “Vote With the Herd” campaign.

“Registering is really easy and really simple,” Elaina Blickenstaff, volunteer and Marshall University sophomore, said. “You can just scan a QR code and fill out some things on a website.”

“It’s important for young people especially to get involved. We’re going to have to take over one day, and we want our voices to be heard,” Blickenstaff continued by saying. “It really matters more than you think.”

Early voting for the midterm elections begins on Oct. 26 and ends Nov. 5, with stations available in the Memorial Student Center.