Students Beat Voter Registration Deadline

Oct 12, 2016

Students provided an important margin of victory when Barack Obama first ran for president, and as the deadline for voter registration approaches, volunteers are stepping up their efforts on college campuses.  Sandy Hausman paid a visit to Virginia Commonwealth University and found plenty of activity.

Students register voters on the VCU campus

On a brisk autumn afternoon Chade Ferguson – a communications major – is flexing her vocal muscles – signing up dozens of students to vote.

“If you guys need to register to vote, you need to change your address, come see me," she calls from a plaza in front of the school's main library. " It takes about 30 seconds – not long at all you guys.  I don’t bite!”

Last month alone, more than 142,000 Virginians registered or reported a change of address.

“You got in a fight with your girlfriend, she threw your wallet at the window," Ferguson continues.  "It’s okay.  I can get you a new card.”

One of those signing up was Jarred Simon who resolved to vote after the first presidential debate.

“All my friends vote. We talk about the political debate all the time," he explained, adding that he's passionate about the issue of police brutality and hopes his vote can make a difference.  

The deadline to register in person, by mail or online is October 17th, and Chade Ferguson is hoping her voice holds out.

“One of the students on campus brought me some hot tea, gave me some cough drops, some mints, some of them fed me," she laughs.  "It’s been working out today.”

Meanwhile, on the University of Virginia campus, Republican students voted 64 to 54 to withdraw their endorsement of Donald Trump.