With less than two weeks to go until this year’s historic midterm elections, Colorado College Democrats Club continues their “get out the vote” efforts on campus, helping and encouraging every registered student to cast a ballot.
While CC students are above average in voter registration, they are historically below average in voter turnout. As of 2016, around 75 percent of CC students were registered to vote in Colorado; however, only 40 percent of these registered students actually turned in a ballot for the 2016 election.
Additionally, voter turnout is consistently low during midterms elections, a trend seen not only at CC but across the entire county — on average, approximately 40 percent of eligible voters in the U.S. cast a ballot in midterm elections versus 60 percent in presidential elections. Therefore, despite the unusually high level of excitement and publicity surrounding this year’s midterms, “get out the vote” efforts are still critically important in these final two weeks.
Charlotte Schwebel ’21, Co-Communications Director of CC Dems, has been leading the club’s “get out the vote” initiatives. She said the club’s current efforts are grounded in the simple, fundamental question: “How do we make it as easy as humanly possible for CC students to vote? How do we make it so they grab their ballot and it never goes back to their room?”
To address this question, Schwebel and CC Dems have focused their attention on both publicity and campaigning on campus and ballot assistance and collection.
“We landed on making it really clear everywhere on campus that it’s time to vote,” Schwebel said. “The vote sign outside Worner was one of those pieces, the [CC Dems] bulletin board … [and] I think I printed 400 posters today alone.”
In addition to alerting and reminding students of the election, CC Dems also set up avenues to help students fill out and cast their ballots.
Every week day until the election from noon to 1:30 p.m., members of CC Dems will be directly next to student mailboxes in the basement of Worner to answer any questions about the ballot and collect completed ballots in a drop box.
“You can just drop your ballot off without doing anything, without paying for stamps, without leaving campus,” Schwebel said. Finally, on election day (Tuesday Nov. 6), CC Dems will shuttle students to and from the polls all day, ensuring every single student who hasn’t voted yet has the chance to. Eligible voters abstain from voting for a variety of reasons, a common one being “my vote doesn’t matter.” For students who may share this opinion, Schwebel emphasized the importance of local elections in El Paso County.
“In Colorado Springs on the El Paso County level, statistically your vote has a lot of sway,” Schwebel said. “The last election for House in this district was decided by 2000 votes and we have 2,100 votes on this campus . . .[so] please vote . . . we really could flip it.”
Students interested in volunteering for a campaign, assisting with tabling, or who want to propose an art project for Worner quad should get in touch with CC Democrats.