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Today marks National Voter Registration Day, which means the election is right around the corner.

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that apathy is not an option. Whether you are a Gator on campus or back at home, we all have a responsibility to make our voices heard. On this National Voter Registration Day, I want to encourage every student to make their voice heard boldly and safely. 

My administration is committed to ensuring that every eligible voter has an opportunity to register to vote and that all students are able to stay informed about our election process. This year, we are proud to have launched Chomp the Vote’s Gators Vote Ambassadors — every day students will be encouraging their student organizations and communities to get out and vote. We’re also hoping to engage more eligible voters on campus by encouraging UF’s administration to adopt an “active voter registration” system, which would invite students to register to vote while virtually registering for classes. Instead of merely asking you to come to us through campus tabling, we want to take voter registration and civic engagement to you.

SG’s Chomp the Vote has also partnered with the Gator Get Out the Vote Coalition and the Bob Graham Center to register hundreds of potential voters through “peer-to-peer” texting, using UF’s very own TurboVote link. UF is one of over 75 colleges and universities in the country that uses the online TurboVote system to register students to vote virtually in just a few minutes. If you are eligible, update your registration or register to vote today at bit.ly/uflvote

We are also working to ensure that you can cast your vote in the safest and most convenient way possible. This year, the J. Wayne Reitz Union at 655 Reitz Union Drive, Ground Floor of the Career Connections Center will serve as an Alachua County polling location for early voting for all Alachua County residents, as well as a polling location on Election Day. 

In order to vote, you must register by Oct. 5. The deadline to request a vote-by-mail ballot in the State of Florida is Saturday, Oct. 24, at 5pm. Early voting will begin on Monday, Oct. 19 and end on Saturday, Oct. 31.  

From donating to the Field and Fork Pantry to helping a fellow Gator by committing to #IPledgeFlorida, there are many ways to stand up for our community and make our voices heard. On this National Voter Registration, don’t miss yet another critical opportunity to do just that.

Trevor Pope is the UF Student Body president.