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Getting SAU Students Registered to Vote, a Bi-Partisan Effort

On November 8th, a total of 469 seats (34 in the Senate, 435 in the House) are up for election. The Democratic Party holds a very slim majority in both the House and Senate, making this upcoming election a very crucial one.

St. Ambrose University Democrats and Republicans held an event aimed at getting students familiar and comfortable with the voting process, believing the younger generation’s vote is a crucial one this November.

The St. Ambrose Democrats and Republicans worked in a joint effort Tuesday, Oct. 8 to get SAU students registered and informed on candidates for each party. The College Democrats President Samantha Sancen, a junior at St. Ambrose, and College Republicans President Sailor Anderson, also a junior, agreed on the importance of college students being involved in the voting process. “We’re the next generation in the workforce,” commented Sancen. “We’re the next generation that’s going to be living with whatever the current politicians are doing. So the first step in getting change in whatever you believe in is young people voting.” Anderson agreed, commenting that “(Young people) make a difference,” in every election. “They are our future, so just understanding who they want to vote for, what they are voting for, and just registering and voting is important because they do have a say in who’s making decisions for us.”

The Midterm Party was held in the bottom level of the Rogalski Center Tuesday
evening. There, students could fill out a voter registration form for both states of
Iowa or an absentee ballot form.

For many St. Ambrose students, this will be the first time they register and vote in an election, a process that can seem very daunting to someone not familiar with the heated world of politics. Sancen and Anderson agreed on saying the event was to create a low-stakes environment for people to learn about candidates and the voting process without fear of judgment on which side of the aisle they may lean towards this November.

Many SAU students remain hesitant on registering, believing that either way they vote that it doesn’t feel like their needs are being met. Even students who are registered to vote to feel a sense of skepticism about participating in the voting process. “No matter which party you vote for, it just feels like neither wants to work for the benefit of (the people),” commented Josh Collins, a sophomore at St. Ambrose who is registered to vote.

Both Sancen and Anderson also encouraged those who may be skeptical about voting in this upcoming election, and perhaps elections to come, to remain open-minded and that politics doesn’t have to be something that you are heavily criticized and judged for. They encouraged students to become active in making a difference for the future they will be a part of. “Be willing to learn about what you are voting for and who you are voting for, and asking questions even though it might be scary,” Anderson commented.

In the 2020 election, a record 50% of people aged 18-29 voted. This was an 11% increase from the 2016 election, according to the Center for Information and Research on Civil Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE). On SAU’s campus, both Democrats and Republicans are making more of an effort to get students registered, voting, and having a say in who and what policies are being put in office.

Cole Negen is a staff writer for The Buzz.