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Saturday, September 30, 2023

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The Rock the Vote campaign serves to increase voter engagement on campus and provide education on the positions, candidates and propositions on the ballot. The Rock the Vote campaign serves to increase voter engagement on campus and provide education on the positions, candidates and propositions on the ballot.

Rock the Vote Aims to Increase Voter Engagement

The Associated Students campaign is providing members of the campus community with information on how to register to vote as well as candidate forums and other virtual events.
By SDSU News Team

The lawn signs are up. The political ads are running on television and the radio. 

Election season is once again upon us, and San Diego State University’s Associated Students (A.S.) is leading the charge to register students to vote before the Oct. 19 deadline. 

Launched in September, the Rock the Vote (RTV) campaign serves to increase voter engagement on campus and provide education on the positions, candidates and propositions on the ballot, continuing through Election Day on Nov. 3. 

The SDSU News Team spoke with A.S. Vice President of External Relations Armando Sepulveda to learn more about the campaign and upcoming events.

For those who are unaware, what is the Rock the Vote campaign?

Rock the Vote is an initiative that takes place every election cycle to get students registered to vote, civically engaged, and inform them about candidates and measures on the ballot. This year, we’re fortunate to have a presidential election, but we’re also very focused on educating voters on local propositions and races, which are also very important. The goal is for SDSU students to become educated voters and then to ensure they get out to vote 

This year’s campaign obviously differs from previous campaigns due to the inability to hold in-person events and forums. How have you tried to increase and maintain student engagement during this uncertain time?

We created a Rock the Vote Instagram account where we post all of our events and information students need to know. We’ve gotten a lot of followers and traction, which has been great. We’ve also updated the RTV website with candidate and proposition information. This year, we provided registration information for all 50 states, as we know not all SDSU students are California residents.

So much thanks goes to the Rock the Vote education team. They have done so much research on the registration information of different states and what’s on the ballot. They worked with the RTV social media team to message the information into easily digestible posts. 

Why is it important for SDSU students to register to vote and be educated on the issues and politicians that will impact them?

College students have long been underrepresented at the polls. It’s a very special feeling that you get when you go to the poll and vote for the person you want to represent you. College students have a lot to say about the current political system and are very opinionated about the issues that impact them, so instead of complaining or being apathetic about it, they can do something tangible and go out and vote. 

The campaign has made an effort to provide SDSU students around the country with the resources they need to register to vote in their home jurisdiction. Why was that important to you?

It’s important to provide that information because we have a large out-of-state student population on our campus. We would not have done our due diligence if we did not strive to provide students with that information, especially with the pandemic and a great number of students living at home.

What upcoming events can students look forward to for the rest of the campaign? How can students find more information about the campaign and upcoming events?

We have candidate forums coming up, which can be found on the RTV website and Instagram page. We also plan to provide interactive, educational activities. We want to get as much information as possible out to students, and we have a great team helping to do that. 

How can students register to vote?

I encourage everyone to visit the Rock the Vote website to get information on how to register in a particular state. In the State of California the deadline to register is Oct. 19 all they will need is a state I.D. or Social Security number. It’s pretty straightforward and easy to register, and everyone is now eligible to vote by mail in California.

A.S. typically hosts a polling location. Are you hosting a polling location this year? What hours will it be open? Can ballots be dropped off at this location?

A.S. is hosting a county-led Super Poll. The location is Viejas Arena and voters enter through Lot 13. There will be in-person voting that follows all the county and state COVID-19 guidelines. The poll site will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31 through Monday, Nov. 2,  and 7 a.m. to 8 p.m on Tuesday, Nov. 3.