ASA considers early polling site to encourage student voting

By Christie S. Peterson

Arizona Daily Wildcat

In addition to making it easier to register to vote through their annual program, Students Are Voting Everywhere, members of the Arizona Students Association are trying to make it easier to cast ballots on campus as well.

SAVE encourages students to register to vote in Pima County, but getting to a polling site often is difficult for students with tight schedules and no transportation.

An early polling site would allow UA students, faculty and staff as well as anyone else registered in the county to vote up to 33 days before the actual election.

Associated Students President Ben Driggs said the early polling site would "drastically improve voting accessibility to the whole campus," and that "everyone likes the idea it's just a question of finding a suitable location."

Finding such a location has proven to be a difficulty because it must be readily accessible to the public, have adequate parking and be equipped to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Currently, the ASA is registering students to vote in Pima County and hopes to have an early polling site on campus for the Fall 1996 elections for U.S. representatives, senators and president.

ASA Task Force Director Greg Gemson said students should register to vote in Pima County not only to avoid worrying about voting through absentee ballots, but to lend their voice to the local politics which affect the UA.

"ASA represents 101,000 people," he said. "If a majority of them register to vote and do vote in Arizona, that's a huge voice. ... The more we flex our voting muscles, the more they will hear our voice and the harder it will be to reduce out budget.

"UA is a public institution, which means it gets a lot of money from the state of Arizona, and the people that make the decisions about how much money the UA gets are elected officials."

Voter registration forms are available at ASUA, and Gemson said he plans to target students through Greek life, in residence halls and at football games, Family Weekend and Homecoming.

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