Students register to vote

Alejandra+Flores%2FThe+Runner%0ACSUB+students+register+to+vote+before+the+primaries+on+Tuesday%2C+May+17+at+the+Student+Union+Patio.

Alejandra Flores/The Runner CSUB students register to vote before the primaries on Tuesday, May 17 at the Student Union Patio.

Amie Birks

Reporter

 

As election primaries near, CSU Bakersfield’s Student Recreation Center hosted a voter information event on Tuesday, May 17 where CSUB students had the opportunity to register to vote and become well informed on what’s at stake for the upcoming elections.

Representatives from California Common Cause, a non-profit, non-partisan organization spoke to a dozen students and staff about voter turnout, myths about millennial voter participation and why student votes matter.

“It is true that millennial voter engagement is at a low in terms of history, but why that rests on a fallacy is that voter engagement is actually decreasing across the board,” said Hinnaneh Qazi operations coordinator for California Common Cause.

Qazi said that a large reason why millennials don’t come out to voter polls is because they don’t have trust in the government and the political process, it conflicts with their schedule, they think their votes don’t matter or they simply aren’t interested.

Despite a lack of involvement in voting, Qazi said that millennials are involved in other avenues of social change such as volunteer work.

Qazi emphasized the importance and impact that student votes can have on the national, state and local level.

“When millennials do actually vote it can make a huge difference,” said Qazi.

Later in the evening, there was a congressional debate between candidates Ken Mettler and Wendy Reed. Student president of the College Democrats club Pedro Naveiras and student president of the College Republicans club Jake Thomasy moderated the debate and questioned the candidates as to why they chose to run as representatives.

“I am tired of fighting our government,” said Reed. “Why do we have to fight our government? We’ve elected people who don’t represent us.”

Mettler also shared with the audience about his purpose for running and his desire for an honest government.

“I don’t care if someone is on the left or the right, I will call them out. If they are doing something that’s not right for the people they need to be held accountable,” said Mettler.

Reed and Mettler spoke about their differing views on student debt, online education, diverting water from the delta and what they have to offer that current congressmen and opponent, Kevin McCarthy does not.

“We can differ philosophically on the issues, but we can agree that we want [an] open, honest [and] transparent government,” said Mettler.

Near the end of the event, representatives of Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump participated in an open forum where they gave reason for their support and answered questions concerning their campaign.

Earlier in the day they had a voter registration drive set up at the Student Union Patio. Naveiras estimated about 25 students to have registered to vote and said that the College Democrats work together with the College Republicans to get as many students as possible to register to vote.
“We want students to be involved civically,” said Naveiras.

Naveiras said they hope to have another voter registration drive in the next two to three weeks. Students are also able to register to vote online through their myCSUB account or at registertovote.ca.gov.

 

Alejandra Flores/The Runner CSUB student registers to vote on Tuesday, May 17 in front of student union.
Photo by Alejandra Flores/The Runner
CSUB student registers to vote on Tuesday, May 17 in front of the Student Union.