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The Student PIRGs New Voters Project joined more than 2,500 partners across the country to celebrate National Vote Early Day, the first civic holiday to help Americans take advantage of their options to vote early. In Arizona, 50 students involved with Arizona PIRG Students called and texted thousands of their peers to help them make plans to vote. Dozens of student organizations, community groups, and faculty joined the massive outreach effort. Supporting first time voters navigate the process is critical in helping ensure they turn out.
Ready with their Zoom conference rooms, cell phones, and festive Halloween costumes, students spent the day of action reaching out to young voters. Many students are newly registered and asked pressing questions, including: Do I vote in person or by mail? Where is my nearest polling location? What is the deadline to mail in my ballot?
“In the next 10 days, young people have the opportunity to make our voices heard in our democracy, but only if we vote,” Christina Meneses, senior at ASU, “It is awesome to know that someone will vote because of the plan I helped them make today.”
Recent data shows that in a number of states, such as Florida, Michigan, Georgia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, early voting rates from young people, who are taking advantage of their voting options during the COVID-19 pandemic, far exceed rates at the same point in 2016.
“Voting early or by mail gives people the convenience and flexibility to make plans that work for us,” said Davion Roby, freshman at ASU.
Voting early in person has also been an option for first-time voters who want to avoid long lines on Election Day. With Nov. 3 less than two weeks away, student organizing can play a big role in walking first-time voters through this process. Arizona PIRG Students will continue to get out the vote on campuses virtually with phone banks, class announcements, educational panels and other peer-to-peer actions.
“Vote Early Day marks the beginning of the final sprint to educate and mobilize as many new voters as possible before Election Day,” said Manny Rin, National New Voters Project director. Rin added, “During the next 10 days, young people will show the country that they are not only America’s largest generation, but they also vote.”
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