Thursday, October 30, 2014

Students to vote at Vines Center

Romney, Paul on ballot for primary

Students living on campus now have the opportunity to vote at Liberty University’s Vine Center after the recent redrawing of district lines. As of Feb. 2, more than 4,000 students were registered to vote at the Vines Center, according to General Registrar for the City of Lynchburg, Carolyn Sherayko.

Sherayko hopes the convenient location will increase student voter turnout.

“Voter turnout really depends on the interest in the race on the ballot,” Sherayko said.

The only two Republican presidential candidates that will appear on the ballot are Ron Paul and Mitt Romney. Due to Virginia ballot requirements, the other Republican candidates will be left off the ballot.

According to Sherayko, there is a lot of interest in candidates off the ballot and this could affect voter turnout on March 6.

Students at Liberty are extraordinarily educated and well thought out on the issues, according to Dean of the Helms School of Government, Shawn Akers. Akers said that Liberty students vote with knowledge.

“Voting with knowledge is powerful and can affect a race,” Akers said.

Even though this is a primary election, voting is just as significant. The primary election gives the opportunity to reflect the voter’s values, and to show every candidate what values most people hold to, according to Akers.

Akers said the best way students can become prepared and educated on a candidate is researching their worldview.

“Understanding the foundational ideas that shape a candidate’s political decision is the most important research to begin with,” Akers said.

Since this primary election could have a great effect, it is important for Liberty students to find the time to vote.

“We have time for what we make time for,” Akers said.

According to Akers, at the end of the primary there are just two choices for president. Therefore, it is necessary to communicate to the candidates, by voting in the primary, what is important to voters.

Sherayko said students need to be positive they are registered to vote. USA Today reported that over 24 million voter registrations are “inaccurate, out-of-date or duplicates.”

“Every time you move, update your registration. It can be done anytime,” Sherayko said.

Students can check their voter registration at sbe.virginia.gov.

The next election is May 1 to elect four City Council members. All four incumbents have announced their reelection campaigns.

The November election includes not just the president, but also a senator and congressman.

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