Early voting machines will be available in the Student Government Office, Oct. 21 through Oct. 31, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., allowing the community to vote at UVU.
“The early voting booths that will be on campus are for Utah County residents,” said Tom Merrill, UVUSA Chief Justice. “It doesn’t matter where you live, as long as you are registered in Utah County, you can come to the student government room and early vote here.”
This opportunity is part of the UVote initiative, which also includes the voter registration tables on campus and the upcoming Rock the Vote Concert.
The proposal to bring the early voting machines to campus began at last year’s voter registration drive.
“When we were involved with our first registration drive it was the first year early voting machines were available in Utah County,” said former Chief Justice, Justin Davies. “However, the only location was in downtown Provo at the Utah County Clerk’s office.”
While Davies was encouraging students to vote that year at the registration drive, he was asked several times if early voting machines were available on campus.
“I wanted to see more students become involved in the voting process,” said Davies. “And if we had early voting machines on campus, it would be harder for any student to give a legitimate excuse for not voting,”
Davies added, “I think that student involvement in the elections process is something that’s extremely important, from city council elections to even presidential elections, if every UVU student voted they’d consist of a demographic that would be impossible for candidates to overlook.”
“We put the petition together, circulated it around campus and ended up getting around 2,000 signatures,” said Matthew Palfreyman, UVUSA Assistant to the President and former Chief Justice. “Because of the petition, we were able to get a feel about what the student body thought of the idea.”
Palfreyman said that he would like to see more students who are more civic minded.
“We live in a generation that is politically apathetic,” he said. “We’re definitely not as active as we could be.”
“Even on a broader scale,” said Davies, “I thought that UVU made a great location for the community as a whole because of the central location that is easily accessible for anyone, not just students. But at the end of the day, this was for the students of UVU.”
According to the Utah County Clerk’s website, UVU is one of five early voting locations in Utah County.
The other early voting locations include the American Fork Library, Utah Community Credit Union in Saratoga Springs, the Utah County Administration Building in Provo and the Spanish Fork National Guard Armory.
For more information on early voting, please visit the Utah County Clerk’s website at http://elections.utah.gov/countyclerks.html or contact the UVUSA Justice Committee at 863-8652.