Tuesday, October 9 is the deadline for voter registration in Ohio, and Ed Frato-Sweeney, Hiram’s Coordinator of Citizenship Education, said Hiram is making it easy for students to register to vote in the all-important presidential election this fall, with a wide range of voter registration and get-out-the vote activities and services.
Last week an e-mail went out to the campus, encouraging students to register to vote at Hiram, instead of their home addresses, and included a registration form that students can fill out and drop off at the Dean of Students’ office in Bates Hall and the Weekend College office in Hindsdale Hall.
With their national conventions in the books, both major political parties will be prospecting for votes everywhere, and no segment of the voting public will be more important than young people aged 18-24, but Frato-Sweeney said currently only about 10 percent of the student body is registered. His goal is to increase that to 40 percent by the October registration deadline.
“While some students may want to register in their hometowns, and we can help them with that,” Frato-Sweeny said, “we prefer to have them register here because they are more likely to vote in person instead of going home or voting absentee.”
He said the college will furnish students with the street address for their residence halls, which are not well known, but are necessary for the Ohio registration form. Students can also fill out Ohio registration forms online, print them out and mail them, or drop them off at the College offices.
Students will also be able to register in person twice a week in the dining hall, during door to door registration drives in the residence halls and even during some classes.
After the October 9th deadline for registration, the focus will shift a get out the vote campaign, with a movie and lecture series targeted at college students called “Our Time to Choose,” tentatively scheduled for Wednesday October 24. The next evening Hiram will host its annual Candidates Night, where potential voters will get the chance to meet and discuss issues with candidates in person.
Then, the Saturday before election day, the college will be putting up posters urging young people to vote, and furnishing utility bills that they can use for voter identification at the polls. A shuttle will be available to take voters to the polls in Hiram at the Village administration on election day.