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Monday, April 22, 2024

Finally, students can register to vote on campus.

Well, let's back up. Students have always been able to register on campus. The forms have been available on campus for years. And the Student-Government funded organization, Chomp the Vote, was created in 2004 and took voter registration even more seriously. The organization registered 8,000 students and even offered limo rides downtown for early voters.

But unfortunately, the organization dropped off the radar during 2005 and 2006 - and 2006 was an important year for national, state and local politics. The number of 18- to 26-year-old Floridians who voted in 2006 went down from 2002, the last year midterm elections were held.

Chomp's new director, Frank Bracco, hopes to turn things around. And he's off to a great start. While zero new voters were registered on campus last year, more than 300 students have been registered to vote in just the first three days of classes.

Great job, Frank. We're happy to hear that Chomp is once again functional because it is without a doubt one of the most important organizations on campus.

Chomp is also working to increase students' interest and knowledge about politics. It will host forums for upcoming primaries and local elections. Chomp hopes to register at least 3,000 new voters by the end of the year.

One student who registered to vote Monday, Claressa Midgette, summed it up best: "If you don't vote, you better not complain."

It's also important to be registered in Alachua County, where you live at least eight months out of the year. If you're still registered in your home county, you should really consider switching.

So if you're still reading this, march yourself over to Turlington Plaza ASAP and look for the Chomp the Vote table. Grab a form and fill it out. Just don't forget to vote when the elections come around. Don't worry - we'll be here to remind you.

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