September 30, 2020
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator
VSU Focuses on Increasing Voter Participation with BLAZE the Ballot
The Office of Student Diversity and Inclusion recently kicked off a BLAZE the Ballot initiative designed to inspire the VSU student community to take an active role in cultivating positive change through civic engagement. This includes voting in the upcoming election on Nov. 3.
Voting matters because it is the first step in strengthening communities and giving a voice to those who feel no one is listening to them. It is an opportunity to have some input in what happens now and what happens next at the local, state, and national levels. It is an act of courage for those voters fighting for civil rights, human rights, and social justice.
Every vote is important. Every vote counts. And every once in a while a single vote decides who wins and who loses.
“I would tell anyone who does not understand the importance of voting that it is more than a vote,” shared Jalen Smith, student assistant with the Office of Student Diversity and Inclusion at VSU. “It is more than the tapping of a candidate on the screen. It is their voice and their choice that has the ability to provoke change in an entire system. There would not be a fight to silence something if it did not possess the power to effect change.”
Smith also took a moment to answer a few student voter questions.
Q: When is the last day for students to register to vote on Tuesday, Nov. 3?
A: The last day to register to vote in Georgia is Monday, Oct. 5. This deadline is an important one for students who are permanent residents of Georgia, as well as those students who call Georgia home while pursuing a degree at VSU. Voter registration deadlines for all other states may be found at https://www.vote.org/voter-registration-deadlines/.
Q: What about students who want to confirm they are already registered to vote?
A: Students can confirm their voter registration status by visiting https://www.vote411.org/.
Q: Where can students register to vote?
A: Students from Georgia and any other state can register to vote by visiting https://www.vote411.org/. It takes about two minutes to complete the process. Forty-one states, including Georgia, offer online voter registration. Voter registration may also be completed by mail.
Q: Where can students cast their ballots on Election Day?
A: Students who live in one of VSU’s eight residence halls and are registered to vote in Lowndes County can cast their ballots in person at the on-campus polling location on Tuesday, Nov. 3. It is located in the Executive Dining Room inside University Center Entrance No. 2.
Students who live off campus and are registered to vote in Lowndes County can find their polling location at https://www.lowndescounty.com/222/Polling-Locations.
Students from other counties in Georgia can find their polling location at https://www.mvp.sos.ga.gov/MVP/mvp.do.
Students from other states can find their polling place at https://www.vote411.org/.
Q: Are students able to cast their ballots in person before Election Tuesday?
A: Students who are registered to vote in Lowndes County may cast their ballots at the Lowndes County Board of Elections, located at 2808 North Oak Street, between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Oct. 12-30.
Students from other counties in Georgia can find their advanced voting information at https://elections.sos.ga.gov/Elections/advancedVotingInfo.do.
Students from other states can find their advanced voting information at https://www.vote411.org/.
Q: For those out-of-town students who are unable to return home to vote in person, how can they cast a ballot?
A: Information about requesting an absentee ballot can be found at https://www.vote411.org/.
Q: Are students allowed to work at the polling locations?
A: Georgia students who are interested in serving as a polling location staff member should visit https://securevotega.com/pollworker-signup/ to sign up. To serve as a poll worker students must be at least 16 years of age; a resident or employee of the county where they wish to serve as a poll worker; and able to read, write, and speak English. Poll workers are paid for their service.
Students from other states who are interested in serving as a polling location staff member should contact their county elections official for more information.
Visit https://www.valdosta.edu/student/diversity/blaze-the-ballot.php to learn more about VSU’s BLAZE the Ballot initiative.