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Vote OR Vote: The importance of voting at Chemeketa

By Sadie Verville

Vote OR Vote has started a movement across the Chemeketa campus.

According to its organizers, the campaign has been rapidly enlisting students to involve them in the voting process this year.

Anayeli Jimenez is the leader of the Vote OR Vote campaign on campus.

“The point of the movement is to let [legislators] know that we’re here,” Jimenez, the group’s mid-valley field organizer, said. “We’re going to have a number [of students] that we can come to the table with.”

Large numbers of students can be critical when legislators decide on how much funding to give out to students, Jimenez said.

Vote OR Vote student volunteers are everywhere, attempting to register 1,200 Chemeketa students this fall.

Group members said that hours of work have been put into this movement, and the volunteers believe that it’s worth the effort.

Numerous posters encouraging students to vote have been placed around campus.

One of the many things the group does is visit classes to educate students on the voting registration process.

The volunteers hand out registration cards during their presentation, and it is from these cards that they get numbers of student voters to share with legislators.

The speech that the volunteers give during classroom presentations focuses primarily on the importance of voting, especially for students.

When speaking to a class, Vote OR Vote volunteers remind students that 10 years ago, a single credit at Chemeketa cost $39. Now, that cost is $80.

“Students have come to a decision: whether they’re going to eat today, or whether they’re going to buy their textbooks,” Jimenez said.

Voter registration is not the only concern of the campaign, however.

Once ballots are out, Vote OR Vote also plans to help educate students about the issues that are to be decided. The group is a non-partisan organization.

Some Chemeketa students are eager to vote.

Michael Mametieff said, “Everyone should vote.”

Colby Moses said, “I’ll go out and vote. But I’m only going to vote on things that I know about and apply to me.”

The campaign began on the first day of fall term. Within its first two days, 486 students registered. The deadline for registering was Oct. 14.

Ballots have been sent in the mail. The deadline to vote is Nov. 4.

“Really think about what it means to have the privilege to vote,” Jimenez said. “This is a country where you have the opportunity to be part of the process. Students here need to rise up and take advantage of that opportunity.”

More information can be found online at orstudents.org

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