National Voter Registration Day
Josh Aguayo is a Pre-Law Transfer Pathways student graduating in Spring 2022, a passionate legislative and policy change advocate, he was recently elected as the Director of Advocacy for Student Senate and is running an ambitious campaign to promote National Voters Registration Day at Minneapolis College.
Q: What is National Voter Registration Day?
Josh: This day is a national effort to get as many people as possible registered to vote in state and presidential elections. The goal is to reach as many people as possible to ensure a smooth process to vote.
Q: Why is National Voter Registration Day important?
Josh: It is a day that celebrates democracy in our country. It holds the opportunity to express our opinions and voice by casting our vote and doing our civic duty.
Q: How will this campaign help students at Minneapolis College?
Josh: At the College, we are aiming to make the registration process as accessible as possible for as many students as possible, to ensure they are eligible to vote in this upcoming election. There will be paper and electronic applications that will help students register. We are also going to be taking the registration forms and dropping them off at the Office of the Secretary of State. Students will also be able to ask questions and learn more about voting, and the impact it can have on policies and legislations.
Q: What would you say to those who think their vote doesn’t matter or count?
Josh: Sometimes it can seem like the individual voice can be minuscule within a large population, but what needs to be understood is that there are communities and groups that are more heavily impacted by politics than others. Each vote makes a difference. Casting your vote is first, a civic duty, but it is also a chance to create action for those who need change, justice and an opportunity for a better life. Privilege also plays a role when it comes to voting—when people do not experience the effects of policies or legislation that negatively impact their lives, then they don’t see the importance of it.
Q: Do you have an example of when policies/legislation has negatively impacted someone due to a lack of votes?
Josh: Yes, my brother-in-law was actually deported back to El Salvador, a place he left because it was so dangerous, because the vote did not turn out in favor of helping and supporting undocumented immigrants. This small action caused a catalyst for many who can’t vote.
Q: What are some changes in the voting process you would like to see?
Josh: Right now, Election Day is not a holiday. People still need to go to work or do other things which can make it harder for them to vote. Long lines, lack of transport, the lack of resources to find polling stations close by are also entities that effect the process. I would love to see Election Day become a national holiday with specific transport options, pathways for people to go to-and-from the polling stations.
Q: What can Minneapolis College students expect next week?
Josh: We will be tabling on the 27th and 28th of September with LeadMn from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. on the second floor of T-Building. Students will have the opportunity to register, either online through a link or by filling out a registration form available at the tables.
There is also going to be a giveaway that is open to all students (eligible to vote or not) to participate in—a chance to win one of six $25 gift cards.
Celebrated on the fourth Tuesday of September, National Voter Registration Day will take place on September 28, 2021. The day seeks to create a broad awareness of voter registration opportunities to reach tens of thousands of voters who may not otherwise register.