Voter Registration Deadline

The last day to register to vote is coming up!


Sarah Seader

PennWest California Students host a Voter Registration Table with the Campus Democracy Challenge.

Stephen Yaniga, Staff Writer

As the Oct. 24 voter registration deadline arrives, PennWest has taken measures to inform students about voter registration and the importance of voting for college students.

With important elections like the Pennsylvania mid-terms for governor on Nov. 8 fast approaching, it is becoming more and more crucial for voters to register.

“If students don’t participate in the elections, their voice cannot be heard. We encourage all students to exercise their right to vote,” said Sarah Zerfoss, Assistant Dean of Students and Assistant Director of Student Development.

The Student Development Office presents nonpartisan civic engagement opportunities throughout PennWest. They also host events during National Voter Registration Day, Constitution Day, and Voter Education Week.

“PennWest has done a good job of keeping students informed about voting and registration,” said Lindsay Sawka, a senior at PennWest who registered to vote at an event in her County of Washington, Pennsylvania.

Daniel Harris, a sophomore here at PennWest, registered to vote, but did so through online registration. The process usually takes no more than 10 minutes to complete, and Harris noted it was easy to fill out.

“Figuring out how to vote, where to vote, what are your options for how to vote, etc. can be extremely overwhelming, especially if it is the first election you can participate in. Figuring out these steps takes a matter of minutes, and I’ve seen students register to vote and have the realization it wasn’t as difficult as they thought,” said Zerfoss.

Like many college students, Sawka is most concerned about student loan forgiveness and understands that voting is one way to make her voice heard. Another student, Harris, also says he’s most concerned with issues that involve student loans and equality and those are the reasons he votes.

“One thing we know is once someone votes they are likely to vote again, so it’s about getting started and registering to vote,” said Laura Tuennerman, a History Professor at PennWest and Director of the American Democracy Project.

The American Democracy Project works with student groups when it comes to voter registration data, to utilize statistics they get from student voters.

“Recently, our voter registration and voting numbers for California have been great and met or slightly succeeded the national average two years ago,” Tuennerman said.

Students can find out more about candidates and additional voting information through online resources like Vote Smart and Ballotpedia.

To help students understand how to register to vote, Campus Vote Project offers this voting guide for students in the link listed below.

Voting Guide: Pennsylvania (