Organization seeks to 'hook' students on voting

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As part of its effort to increase student voter turnout in November, Hook the Vote will deputize volunteers with the ability to register voters for the first time this semester Thursday 6:00 p.m. at the Student Activity Center in room 2.302.

Hook the Vote, which started in 2008, is a bi-partisan Student Government agency that works to inform and register students before elections. This year, Billy Calve, the agency’s director, said Hook the Vote is working to improve its previous efforts.

Along with its event Thursday, Calve said Hook the Vote will have a presence in the West Mall every week leading up to the registration deadline to remind students to register. People at these booths will have voter registration cards, be able to register voters and explain the process of registering to vote.

Calve said the main event is Oct. 9, which is Hook the Vote’s registration rally and concert at Gregory Gym Plaza.

“At the event, we are going to have guest speakers, free food, t-shirts, prizes and it is going to be a really cool party,” Calve said. “The reason it is on Oct. 9 is because that is the deadline. That is the very last day to register to vote, so we will actually be out there registering people to vote till midnight.”

In order to host these events, Calve said Hook the Vote is sponsored by six student organizations and has partnered with 31 other student organizations. Two of those organizations are University Democrats and College Republicans, who will have a debate about the election hosted by Hook the Vote later this semester.

“Part of Hook the Vote’s mission is to educate voters,” Calve said. “We want students to register to vote, but we also want them to know what is being voted on.”

College Republicans spokesperson Danny Zeng said the debate has been a good starting place for students trying to figure out the issues in the election.

“It is a conversation starter. It is important for us to put forth what we believe, and it is important for the Democrats, the Libertarians and for everyone to put forth what they believe,” Zeng said. “Hopefully putting the opinions in front of an audience will stimulate a deeper look into the issues.”

Zeng said an average of 100 students attend the Hook the Vote debate, and a video of the debate is recorded and posted online.

Leslie Tisdale, University Democrats president, said an exact date has not been scheduled yet but will be soon.

Calve said when early voting starts, the FAC will be used for voting on campus. During those times, Calve said Hook the Vote will have a presence across campus encouraging and reminding students to vote.

Printed on Thursday, September 6th, 2012 as: Hooking UT students on voting