Temple Student Government is partnering with Temple Votes, a voter education effort within Temple University’s Dean of Students office, to encourage students to register to vote and cast their ballot ahead of the midterm elections on Nov. 8.
In years past, the partnership focused heavily on student voter registration, but because many eligible voters on campus are already registered to vote, TSG and Temple Votes are instead focusing the majority of their efforts on ensuring students have a plan to vote on Election Day, said Student Body President Gianni Quattrocchi.
The two organizations will host tabling events around campus throughout October where they’ll ask students if they have a plan to vote and provide them voter registration forms if they aren’t registered. They will also host U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA) and State Rep. Jordan Harris (D-186) to discuss the importance of voting.
Temple Votes’ website also offers a check sheet to help students plan how and where they will vote.
TSG and Temple Votes will still be hosting voter registration events until Pennsylvania’s voter registration deadline on Oct. 24. TSG will also hold town halls discussing the importance of student participation in the democratic process. Rohan Khadka, TSG’s director of external services, will host a town hall on civic engagement in the Student Center on Oct. 24 at 4:00 p.m.
Ideally, Quattrocchi wants every registered student voter cast a ballot in the midterm elections, he said.
Seventy-three percent of eligible student voters at Temple cast a ballot in the 2020 election.
Quattrochi stressed the importance of student participation in all elections, including midterm and municipal elections. Student voices will not be heard unless they vote in these elections, Quattrocchi said.
“Politicians don’t pay attention to us unless we vote,” Quattrocchi said. “So in order to ensure that student needs are being met and addressed by those in elected office, it’s important and critical for all of us to be as engaged with elected office as much as possible.”
Josh Shapiro, Pennsylvania’s attorney general and Democratic gubernatorial candidate, visited Main Campus on Oct. 8 to meet with students to promote his campaign and key issues like abortion and climate change.
Isabel Shaffner, a freshman media studies and production major, believes that initiatives to reach out to young voters are important.
“A lot of the time, especially students like they’re so busy, they won’t go out of their way to actually vote,” Shaffner said. “And like, remember, especially even so I think having people be like, ‘Hey, this is coming up, are you registered?’ Stuff like that is really important just to remind people and provide the resources to get people to vote.”
Shaffner, a Maryland resident, is registered to vote in their home state and is passionate about abortion rights heading into the midterm election.
“It’s really up to the states to decide on that,” Shaffner said. “I think especially in Maryland, my state, we currently have a Republican governor and I would like to see that to change.”
Fin Polon, a freshman art therapy major, highlighted social and political issues, like abortion, as a reason for young people to express their views by voting.
Ninety percent of Temple students support the right to an abortion under any circumstance, according to a September 2022 poll by The Temple News.
“The important thing is just being able to put their voice out there,” Polon said. “I mean, we all got these mindsets that are different than generations above us.”