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The Blue & Gray Press | August 18, 2018

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OFA Attempts to Increase Student Voting Awareness

By MARY WENDT

Volunteers for OFA have been on campus recently addressing voting barriers for college students. While providing tips to eliminate these barriers, they have been encouraging students to vote in the upcoming election.

The Virginia state legislature is considering a bill to restrict voting without state identification, according to The Washington Post.

According to Campus Vote Project’s website, “Students are sometimes given misleading information to discourage them from voting in their college communities. The myths include claims that registering to vote at school may jeopardize eligibility for financial aid, their parents’ ability to claim them as a dependent on their tax returns, or the ability to remained covered by their parents’ insurance plans.”

Organizing for America (OFA), founded by the Obama Administration in 2009, is an organization started in favor of the Obama Administration’s goals and plans for the Democratic Party. Political activists have used OFA to increase support for the Democratic Party.

While these barriers for potential student voters have prevented them from voting in the past, OFA and the Campus Vote Project are finding ways for students to be involved in the election with minimal obstacles.

Strategies to help get rid of barriers for student voters can be found on Campus Vote Project’s website, as well as Fair Elections Legal Network’s website.

While obstacles like residency laws, registration deadlines, and voter ID laws restrict many students’ voting opportunities, Campus Vote Project and Fair Elections Legal Network offer ways to exercise voting rights without restraint.

However, there are many ways students can take control of their voting abilities on their own. According to Campus Vote Project’s website, the first step is to be informed. They say it is important to know when deadlines are, find out what sort of identification or information you will need, and be ready.

Through OFA, student participation in voting is likely to rise if such restrictions can be eliminated or lessened, according to Campus Vote Project’s website.

The regional field director for OFA on campus and the head volunteer for the campaign were contacted about their presence on campus, but were unable to comment.