College Democrats and Republicans prepare for Election Day with voter outreach

College+Democrats+and+Republicans+prepare+for+Election+Day+with+voter+outreach

Abi Pepin, Senior Reporter

The App State College Republicans and Democrats are pushing for more voter outreach as Election Day approaches.

Because of COVID-19, College Republicans and Democrats are changing what they do to increase voter participation.

Dalton George, president of the App State College Democrats, said a big focus is encouraging students to vote for state and local races, not just the national candidates.

“We have tried to provide information about those races to make folks more likely to vote,” George said.

George said they canvass through neighborhoods, hand out voting-related information at nearby apartments and make phone calls encouraging students to vote.

Jenna Kubiak, vice president of the App State College Democrats, said having a strong presence is essential for electing progressive candidates.

“We have to find different ways to reach out by virtual events and urging them to vote up and down the ballot in this election,” Kubiak said.

During early voting, a group of App State College Democrats members stand outside of Plemmons Student Union to help voters with any questions.

The App State early voting site has been involved in at least four lawsuits in the past 10 years.

Republicans have tried to move the site outside of the student union, which has led Democrats to think they’re trying to suppress the student vote.

“The main and consistent goal is to get turnout at the student union as high as possible with young voters,” George said.

River Collins, president of the App State College Republicans said his biggest effort is putting candidate signs around the Boone community. 

The College Republicans put out about 150 signs a week.

“We want to make sure voters have the candidates’ names in their heads so when they go to vote, they’re voting for the candidates that they remember,” Collins said.

Collins said one of the organization’s biggest struggles is their party’s signs being stolen or defaced.

 

“We’re doing our best to keep our signs on campus and replace them as they’re taken,” Collins said. “But we still have a lot of work to do.”

Collins said the organization still has regular meetings and encourages more students to get involved. The College Republicans are also pushing volunteers to vote early so more people can hand out literature with conservative candidates on it on Election Day.

Like the College Democrats, the College Republicans want more people to phone bank leading up to the election. 

“We have been calling voters for our candidates and enlisting more people to start phone banking and become involved with other volunteer roles,” said Collins. 

Since the start of early voting, both organizations have focused on reaching out to students to make sure they are aware of the opportunity to early vote.

“We want to make sure students know that this is a great way to increase turnout, so people don’t wait until Election Day to vote when the lines are substantially longer,” Kubiak said.