The University of Bridgeport will host a voter-registration drive and pep rally on Wednesday, October 10 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the Ped Mall to help college-age students get to the polls next month.
The UB drive, called “Youth, Wild and Registered,” is one of many similar rallies being held at college campuses this election season, say experts, who note that college-age voters have become a hot topic this year because of their potential political power.
Eighty-seven percent of college students who were registered to vote cast ballots in 2008, and 18- to 29-year olds, called Millenials, represent 25 percent of eligible voters, according to the Fair Elections Legal Network Campus Vote Project.
Students who are eligible may register to vote at the UB rally or they may be able to cast an absentee ballot back home, depending on where they live.
In Michigan, for example, someone who’s never voted before and who wants to vote absentee must visit an election office in person first, either to register or to request an absentee ballot. Other states do not have first-time voter rules.
The voter registration drive at UB is “intended to encourage students to register to vote and remind them of the importance of registering and voting,” said Dean of Students Edina Oestricher. “Students will be able to register at the rally, learn more about the issues, and enjoy refreshments.”
Bridgeport City Councilman Andres Ayala, representatives from Rep. Jim Himes’s office and for Chris Murphy, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, and some UB students and faculty will speak from 12:15 p.m. to 1 p.m. UB organizers have also invited Senate candidate Linda McMahon, who is running on the Republican ticket, to speak at the event.