University of Utah students focus on virtual ways to encourage peers to vote

Posted at 6:00 PM, Oct 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-13 20:00:28-04

SALT LAKE CITY — The presidential election is just a few weeks away, and Utahns have less than two weeks to register to vote. University of Utah students are busy finding ways to virtually encourage their peers to vote.

“Regardless of everything being virtual and online, it’s important that people get out and vote anyways,” said Lauren Harvey, a freshman and Vote Everywhere Ambassador at the U of U.

Since face-to-face interactions are limited right now, students have found virtual ways to get students engaged.

“Just the word of mouth, that opportunity has gone down and so it’s kind of been a marketing campaign that we’ve done entirely over social media,” said Katherine Forth, another University of Utah student.

"There have been some successful online voter registration events, but it’s been a challenge," said Kyle Tucker, Program Coordinator, Hinckley Institute. “It’s hard because we are all living in this virtual world and so we are kind of competing for people’s attention when there are so many different webinars, and forums and Zoom calls you can join."

Making sure students are registered to vote is a concern as the deadline inches closer, Forth said.

“Students are a really transient population, so during most years we have that opportunity to be in person and answer questions about changing their voter registration, changing their address or things like that,” she said.

Last week, the University of Utah hosted the 2020 Vice Presidential Debate, which helped encourage students to get involved and get informed as many student organizations tailored social media and other content towards debate coverage, Isaac Reese, University of Utah student said.

“It was cool to see how as a community we helped push students, and so our peers to be civically engaged,” he said.

Despite the challenges, many young voters are determined to find ways help ensure young voters cast a ballot.

“It’s important that everyone hits the poles, because every Americans voice is important, and every American’s voice needs to be heard,” Harvey said.

For more information on voting in Utah, click here.