U ranked 8th in voting drive

By Rita Totten, Staff Writer

College football teams aren’t the only ones gearing up for bowl games8212;universities across the nation are competing in the Ultimate College Bowl voter registration drive to get students out to vote for the Nov. 4 elections.

Through collaborations with the Associated Students of the University of Utah Government Relations Board and VoteProject, the U is ranked eighth in the nation for voter registration of the 1,200 schools participating, according to the Ultimate College Bowl Web site.

The bowl can be won in two ways. The first is registering the most students to vote, and the second is registering the highest percentage of students on campus to vote. The college with the most students registered wins a free concert by Death Cab for Cutie, and the college with the highest percentage of students registered wins a free concert by the Decemberists.

The non-profit group Why Tuesday?, which works to raise awareness of the voting system and increase voter turnout, organized the bowl.

Barnett Zitron, managing director of the Ultimate College Bowl, said the group wanted to organize an initiative that would award schools for their voter registration efforts.

MySpace, HeadCount, Declare Yourself, National Constitution Center and Rock the Vote are among the sponsors of the bowl.

Because it is not legal for Why Tuesday? to directly register students to vote, Zitron and the other sponsors of the bowl collaborated with student groups at campuses nationwide to register voters.

The University of California-Santa Barbara and the University of California-Berkeley hold the No. 1 and No. 2 spots, respectively.

The Web site lists the U as having 2,552 registrations, but Director of ASUU Government Relations Andrew Jensen said the U has registered 2,770 students.

Jensen, who is in charge of the registration effort at the U, said the success was achieved by working with various coalitions on campus, including the College Republicans and College Democrats, the Latter-day Saint Student Association and LEAP.

“Because we are a non-partisan group, it was easier to get student groups to work together,” said Thomas Jarvis, assistant director of government relations.

To celebrate the U’s success in the bowl, ASUU Government Relations will host a volunteer party for everyone who helped in the effort to get students registered, Jarvis said.

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