Voter Registration and Turnout Effort Underway at SWOSU
An effort to increase overall voter registration and turnout plus reduce the gap between students who register and students who actually vote is underway at Southwestern Oklahoma State University.
TurboVote is an online tool that helps students vote in every election—local, state and national. It is a product of Democracy Works, a non-profit, nonpartisan organization that was started by some graduate students who missed elections while away at school in 2010.
The #dawgsvote effort on the Weatherford campus is spearheaded by SWOSU Political Science Assistant Professor Dr. Heather L. Katz.
“TurboVote assists voters to register to vote by asking for the needed information,” Katz said. “A nice feature of the service is that it sends reminders about deadlines either by email, text message or both.”
Some of the other services provided include:
- The form can be printed and mailed/returned to the Dean of Students office
- Helps students decide where to register and has residence hall addresses pre-programmed
- Assists voters with absentee ballots and users can request pre-addressed, pre-stamped envelopes
- Assists voters with early voting options
- Informs voters where their polling place is for in-person voting
- Informs voters of any changes to the ballot, polling places or times
- Informs voters what to bring to the polls for ID
- A help desk for any and all questions: voting, TurboVote technology, etc.
SWOSU’s involvement in the program started when Katz and SWOSU Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Ruth Boyd attended the Oklahoma Voting Summit in August and TurboVote was one of the tools recommended. Katz said TurboVote can be used by anyone and not just students.