With the presidential election approaching in November, students at Alcorn State University have been preparing to visit the polls by registering to vote.
Students have participated in several voter registration drives on campus during the fall semester. So far, the Student Government Association and staff members from the J. D. Boyd Library have held drives for new voters and registered voters who plan to vote on campus.
Tanya Woods, an archivist clerical assistant at the library, assures students that their votes are powerful and could significantly impact the future.
“These young voters could have a tremendous impact on the elections,” said Woods. “Everyone’s voice matters. It is important to exercise your right to vote because your vote is vital for our people's betterment."
The events saw many students who were registering for the first time. Dejah Truly, a sophomore biology pre-nursing major from Clarksdale, Mississippi, looks forward to casting her ballot. She appreciates her peers, who already registered to vote for motivating her to register.
“After registering to vote, I feel like I can play a bigger role in society by exercising my right to enforce change,” said Truly. “My peers played a role in encouraging me to register, and I thank them for their motivation. I hope for the best results in the November election.”
Students expressed how important voting is to them. Kyndall Smith, a freshman animal science major from Memphis, Tennessee, believes that her generation's voices could be the determining factor in societal change.
“Voting is important because there are so many young people in this generation that want to make a difference,” said Smith. “I believe that if all of us take advantage of voter registration, we can make a big difference in the upcoming election.”
Alcorn has students from all over the state, country, and world, which means traveling home to vote may be impossible. Carman Thornton, a senior English literature major from Collinsville, Mississippi, appreciates the University for making voting convenient for students who live hours away.
“It’s awesome to register to vote on Alcorn’s campus,” said Thornton. “Alcorn gives students like me a chance to vote on campus instead of traveling back home to vote. The University is making voting convenient for everyone. I’m thankful to the University for giving us this opportunity.”
With so many issues affecting minorities in the country, students are aware of voting for candidates that care about their issues. Dahkeem Williams, a senior political science major from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, spoke about how voters can place people in offices that can enforce changes in the community.
“Our votes count,” said Williams. “Because of the social injustice in this country, how the pandemic is being handled, and several other issues, it is important for us to vote because our votes could bring positive and necessary changes to our communities."
The 2020 Presidential Election is Tuesday, Nov. 3.