As the student government at Portland State University, ASPSU is constantly working to serve the best interests of the student body. This can be best illustrated by the Youth Vote 2002 campaign. This campaign is designed to register students to vote, educate us about the issues and strive toward a high voter turnout among students.
Fact: Over the past four elections (including primary and general elections), people between the ages of 18 and 24 turned out to vote at a rate of 20 percent. In Multnomah County, the average voter in the May 2002 primary election was 62 years old; the average age of a PSU student is 27.
Fact: Politicians only listen to people who vote. In the past four months, because of decisions that have been made by Oregon voters, tuition has increased, grants have been cut and financial aid is depleting. It is for reasons like these, and countless others, that it is essential for students to turn out in November to vote.
Fact: In 2000, ASPSU and the Oregon Student Association registered more than 27,000 students to vote statewide. In the November 2000 election, young people in student-heavy precincts turned out to vote at, or above, the county average. An increased student voting block obligates our legislators to listen to us and keep the interest of the students in mind. As registered voters, we become their constituents and, in effect, their bosses. We have the power to hold our representatives accountable to our interests, but if we don’t utilize this power, we can only lose.
If you have moved since May, are new to Oregon, didn’t vote in the last four elections or are going to be 18 by Nov. 5, 2002, stop by the ASPSU office, SMSU, Room 117, and register to vote by Tuesday, Oct. 15 at midnight!