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Open Registration teaches students about voting

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Organization For America is helping students get registered for the 2012 presidental election. Photo from morguefile.com
Organizing For America is helping first time voters register to vote for the 2012 presidential election in the CSU-Pueblo library every Monday and Thursday during the summer.

Breta Ross and Georgiana Inskeep are two volunteers for Organizing For America, and spend much of their time helping people register to vote. Time is spent at shopping malls, shopping centers, and schools practicing voter registration.

Although Organizing For America is the President Obama re-election committee, Ross wanted to assure that they are not pushing a political agenda.

“You follow the rules of wherever you’re at. Here on campus we don’t do anything partisan,” Ross said.

After asking permission from the dean of the library earlier this summer, the organization will have permission to help register students until the fall semester begins. As their main concern is not pushing a political agenda, much importance is put into their personal strengths of simply helping people register to vote.

“We want everybody to vote. It’s just so important that your voice be heard,” Inskeep said.

While at first, they set up a small registration table in the OUC this past spring, it was suggested by people who had registered with them that they would have more traffic and people to potentially help register in the library. The organization asked for permission and quickly moved into the main lobby where they now have volunteers asking pedestrians as they walk by if they have voted.

“Have you registered to vote?” is a common phrase that people hear as they walk in the door from Ross and Inskeep.

Ross and Inskeep stressed the easiness of registering to vote, and that only a few minutes are needed to complete the Colorado voter registration form.

“A Colorado driver license, state identification, or Social Security number are the three things allowed,” “and in that order, only one is needed to register,” Ross said.

Once the form is completed, they send it down to the Pueblo County Clerk’s office where the county processes the voter registration.

Ross and Inskeep are impressed to see how many people say they are registered when asked the question if they are registered, and Inskeep guessed that nine out of 10 are registered.

The two were adamant about registering to vote, and stressed the importance and the availability to do so. Even without the help of Ross and Inskeep, potential voters can go online to gottaregister.com/register/cc to register.

Once registered, voters are now eligible to vote in this year’s election, and if voters are unsure where to vote this fall, the easiest way to find out is to call the Pueblo County Clerk’s office (719) 583-6507 on the best location to vote this fall Ross expressed.

While these two volunteers are only here through the summer session, they will soon be requesting permission from the library to remain on campus through the election in November.