The Associated Students of Central Oregon Community College (2012-13) has launched what they hope will be the largest vote registration campaign to ever take place on the campus. Their goal is to have 1200 students registered to vote by Oct. 16, the Oregon registration deadline for those intending to vote in the November elections.
ASCOCC’s campaign is a branch of the state-wide non-partisan campaign, Vote Oregon Vote, which is organized by the Oregon Student Association and the Oregon Community College Association. The goal of the overall Vote Oregon Vote campaign is to register 38000 students to vote in time for the November elections. This is the first time a branch of the Vote Oregon Vote campaign has been hosted at COCC.
Kurt Killinger, director of legislative affairs for ASCOCC, is spearheading the COCC branch of the campaign. His position on student government puts him on the board of directors of OCCSA, and
he is also on the vote steering committee for OSA.
In order to meet the goals set by ASCOCC, Killinger said he plans to speak in front of as many students as possible. About 200 class visits have been organized to get student signed up, according to Killinger, and registration tables will be set up in the Campus Center cafeteria, bookstore and the quad. Killinger also plans to launch a mini-campaign by visiting seniors in local high schools who will old enough to vote by November. The reason for all the campaign, according to Killinger, is to give students a say in how the country is run.
“By getting students registered to vote, it’s giving them a say on any issues that are votable,” he said.
The OSA has assigned Ariel Jasper, a vote organizer, to help Killinger with the COCC branch of Vote Oregon Vote. Jasper is a non-COCC student whose work is paid for by OSA.
“She’s here to help me because we’re running one of the largest campaigns for student voter registration that has ever happened on this campus,” said Killinger.
Jasper assists Killinger with class visits and organizes volunteers to help register student voters.
“The voting campaign is a way to make students an up and coming vote that politicians are forced to pay attention to,” said Jasper.
The OSA strives to give students a voice in other ways as well, according to Jasper, such as lobbying for student rights and legislature that is of student interest.
“Essentially we want to show that there’s power in the student vote,” said Jasper.
The OCCSA also lobbies for student interests. The former ASCOCC council for the 2011-12 school year participated in the lobbying, and according to Killinger, it’s likely that the current council will participate later in the year. However, Killinger said the voting campaign has nothing to do lobbying.
“I’m not trying to tell people how to vote,” said Killinger. “I’m just giving them a chance to have a voice.”
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