State officials recognize Vote Project in registering college students to vote

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Lt. Gov. Gayle McKeachnierecognized the U Wednesdaynight at the Governor’s Mansionfor its success in registeringthe highest number of studentsin the state to vote.”Educating students and gettingthem interested in what isgoing on is the best way to getthem to vote,” said McKeachnie.”The U did an excellentjob of that.”Vote Project, a statewideprogram founded by U seniorTyler Allen, looked to improveupon the typically low amountof students who vote.Working with political scienceprofessor Dan Jones, UVote Project director BrysonMorgan concluded that of the28,500 students attending theU, 11,000 unregistered studentswere eligible to vote.Morgan and Vote Projectwere able to register morethan 6,000 of those studentsto vote in November’s election,and estimated that byElection Day about 85 percentof U students had registered.”The success of Vote Projectwas due to the sheer effortof all the volunteers,” Morgansaid. “There was just a lot ofstudent interest regarding thisyear’s election, and that interestspurred students to getothers involved.”The high percentage of registeredU students is signifi-cantly higher than the rest ofthe state, where only 51 percentof 18- to 24-year-old votersare registered.Other colleges and universitiesfrom around the statealso participated in similarprograms and received recognitionfrom the lieutenant governor.Salt Lake CommunityCollege was awarded for beingthe first school to register500 students and, according toMorgan, almost overtaking theU in total number of studentregistrations made. SouthernUtah University was also congratulatedfor registering 40percent of its student body.The statewide success oncollege campuses may belargely due to the lieutenantgovernor’s Office and itsmethod of working with campusleaders and organizations”They were great in allowingus to combine our resources,”Morgan said. “We all wantedthe same thing, more studentvoting, and they really showedtheir support of that.”Wednesday’s award was theresult of a collective effort betweennot only Vote Project,but Taylor Morgan and hisgovernment relations board aswell.”We really wanted to positivelyimpact the U,” Morgansaid.”It’s good to know that allthe work paid off.”[email protected]