Young voters, many who have taken part in civic rallies in the last two years are set to cast their ballots in what is expected to be a pivital mid-term election Tuesday.
At UC Santa Barbara and in nearby Isla Vista, voter registration drives were very active as the students returned in September and it will likely lead to a good turnout of voters.
“There would always be a table every day or on campus or on campus there would be a table to urging people to vote or register to vote,” said Rami Bahsa a student ready to vote. He realizes the local and national importance.”It shows that we all care about our community and want to make a change.”
Associated Students President Brooke Kopel said “we run huge voter registration drives at UCSB. It is a well oiled machine here. We have the most students registered to vote here out of any college campus in the entire country.”
Studies nationally show the under 30 year old voter is going to be showing up at the polls in strong numbers after not just voter registration efforts, but engaging in civic issues, rallies, demonstrations and community meetings in the last two years.
After spending part of her Sunday going over the ballot, Joyce King said, “anyone who does not understand that their vote does have an impact isn’t paying attention.” She said actions from Washington D.C. including the recent Supreme Court Justice hearings have been motivating for many voters. “The last Presidential election was a big wake up call for me and I think it was for a lot of people.”
Many students spend Monday evening going door to door to remind residents in the college community to vote. They will be out Tuesday morning too.
“It shows that we all care about our community and want to make a change,” said Basha.
At the main elections office in Santa Barbara County, the lobby was bustling with people asking questions about voting and filling out forms to register. Under a new law, you can register and vote up to and including election day. Your ballot and other information will be checked by the staff to make sure you are a legal voter before it is processed. In many cases that will be after election day.
Out front there is a big metal secure mail box that serves as a drive up ballot drop off location. A stream of cars will be going through Tuesday as has been the case on prior election days.
In Santa Barbara County there are 217,000 registered voters. The vote-by-mail ballot returns as of last week were coming in stronger than the election four years ago.