The student club, Ship Votes, went door-to-door during classes on Sept. 19 to encourage students to vote and help with voter registration applications.
Ship Votes is a non-partisan, voter registration group with more than 50 volunteers that has registered more than 600 students to vote this year.
Katy Clay, a history professor at Shippensburg University, is the adviser of Ship Votes. She has given up all campaigns with the college Republicans and Democrats to be part of the non-partisan group.
“It doesn’t matter what party you are affiliated with, just as long as you vote,” Clay said. “Voting is a civic engagement, and everybody owns it. We have an obligation to inform ourselves.”
Clay said, “Without voting, this becomes a sham democracy. The youth vote is so important. We don’t want to be a poser of a democracy.”
One of the biggest challenges for students registering to vote was that students were filling out the forms wrong which prevented them from becoming registered voters.
“The forms can be complicated, especially for college students voting outside of their hometowns,” Clay said. “We were trained by Director of Elections Penny Brown to correctly fill out the forms so we can assist students.”
Ship Votes informs students about the importance of voting one class at a time by presenting a Power Point created by the Women’s Center, followed by passing out voter registration forms to students. Ship Votes helps with every detail of the forms and then collects the forms and sends them to the township so students can receive their voter registration cards.
Corey Burton, a member of Ship Votes and one of 12 students going from class to class with Clay, helps students fill out voter registration forms.
“It is important for college students to vote because who you vote for will impact everything from your tuition to your future,” Burton said. “If you don’t vote, you’ll be stuck with decisions that you didn’t have a say in.”
Burton has been involved with Ship Votes since he was a freshman and this will be his second time voting.
“I became involved with Ship Votes when they knocked on my dorm door and asked if I was interested in joining. Since joining, I feel as though I am a bigger part of the community,” Burton said.
Outside of election years, Ship Votes is an active student organization participating in events such as the Corn Festival, Service Day, research groups and events at the Thought Lot.
Ship Votes will continue voter registration at a table in the Ceddia Union Building Mondays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. until Oct. 1.
To become involved with Ship Votes, visit their Facebook page Ship Votes or email firstname.lastname@example.org