The pandemic is changing politics on college campuses

Advocates shift tactics to get out the vote
college students cu boulder
Posted at 2:04 PM, Sep 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-29 16:04:52-04

BOULDER, Colo. — Looking around the nearly empty campus of the University of Colorado right now, you would hardly know an election is five weeks away.

"Normally there are people on campus asking if you’re registered to vote. This year, I've seen a lot more on social media actually," said Morgan Myers, a senior at CU Boulder.

With students currently under a public health order that prohibits gatherings of more than two people, the traditional rallies and public forums one would expect on a college campus are non-existent. Some students say online classes have made it harder to discuss politics with peers.

The voter outreach group New Era Colorado has been engaging students in person and online. Colorado usually has high youth voter turnout, but New Era spokesperson Michael Carter says colleges have an important role this year in making sure students have information and access to vote.

"I would really encourage colleges to be proactive about reaching out to their students and making sure they’re able to participate in this election," said Carter.

Julie Poppen, a spokesperson for the University of Colorado, said while "tabling" for voter registration is not presently allowed on our campus due to COVID-19, the university is working closely with New Era Colorado, the Pac-12 and the state in getting out the vote.

Colorado has strong voter laws, including same-day and online voter registration. College students are allowed to vote in their college state, or their home state if they are from out-of-state.

Carter encourages students to update their registration and address as soon as possible so they can get a mail-in ballot. The deadline in Colorado to update one's voter registration is Oct. 26.