Online service helps college students maneuver voting process

Voting in the next election just became easier for college students.

Roanoke College is one of at least 80 colleges and universities nationwide that is partnering with TurboVote, a non-partisan group that helps Americans, particularly college students, manage the election process online.

TurboVote, a non-profit group based out of Brooklyn, N.Y., provides a helping hand in the voting process. Through TurboVote's website, users can register to vote, update voter registration, request absentee ballots by mail and receive reminders of voting deadlines and polling place locations by text or email. TurboVote also informs out-of-state residents of upcoming elections and how to obtain absentee ballots.

With busy schedules and demanding courses, many college students forget to vote. TurboVote simplifies the election process, although voters still must go to a polling location or vote via mail-in absentee ballot. Each college has its own personalized website, including Roanoke College's at https://roanoke.turbovote.org/register.

Roanoke President Mike Maxey is among numerous college presidents nationwide who support a TurboVote initiative that calls for campuses to provide students with materials and information to vote in all elections. This is called the New Standard for Campus Voter Engagement.

On Nov. 5, Virginians will hit the polls to vote for state governor. The candidates are Democrat Terry McAuliffe, Republican Ken Cuccinelli and Libertarian Robert Sarvis. By joining TurboVote, voters can learn where and when to vote and find out information about bills on the ballot.

TurboVote's aim is to encourage voters, especially college students, to vote in any election, whether it is one for president or a local school board contest. Last year alone, more than 109,000 students registered to vote on 58 college campuses, according to TurboVote.

Now, TurboVote is available through 80 college campuses, 29 non-profits and Google, with more than 200,000 active members and numbers are rising. 

Joining TurboVote is quick, easy and free. Simply visit the website, enter your name and email address, and follow the steps.

Sam Novey, director of partnerships for TurboVote, recently spoke at downtown Roanoke's CityWorks (X)po about the need for student interest and engagement in politics.

"We need to institutionalize voter registration so no college student will miss an election again," he said.  

At Roanoke College, Leah Russell, associate dean and registrar, and Bryan Ryberg, associate dean for student success initiatives, plan to encourage students to use TurboVote by promoting it during freshman orientation each year.  

College students are shaping the next generation and deserve a voice in politics. Why not make your voice heard?

For further information, check out TurboVote's website: https://roanoke.turbovote.org/register

Released: October 23, 2013
Contact Name: Public Relations
Contact Phone: (540) 375-2282
Contact Email: gereaux@roanoke.edu