Block Talk

Did you register to vote? Why or why not?

Every week, the Vanguard interviews members of the Portland State community in the Park Blocks and asks them a timely question. This week’s question:

“Did you register to vote? Why or why not?”

Jeff Evans, 22, a senior music education teacher, didn’t register because he has been a registered Arizona voter since he was 18. “The way that I look at it is that the community where I’m from is a place I plan to return to, and I’d like to participate in that government because of the conservative nature of that community and my liberal beliefs,” he said. “I want to continue to influence that community because I see Portland doing a good job in comparison to where
I’m from.”

Senior English major Geoff Vincent, 21, registered immediately. “I think it’s a bit silly to live in a democracy and want to take advantage of everything this country has to offer, but not use my voice to get what I want to get out of it,” he said. “Or, if you treat it as important, but then say you don’t have enough time—because how long does it take to fill out a ballot and do precursory research on a few candidates and issues?”

Sasha Chedygov, 20, a junior economics major, registered especially to vote for the local measures. “I registered to vote to make the small difference that I can. I’m not too big on voting for the presidential candidates because I don’t feel like my vote makes that much of a difference, but I vote on the local measures here,” she said.

Graduate business student Joe Bazeghi, 28, was previously registered and participates in every election. “We’ve been handed something just by virtue of being Americans and it’s a participatory democracy, which will only function when we participate,” he said. “In reality, my one vote can have a substantial impact on how minority communities are treated and how the middle classes will grow or shrink.”