Student hosts online voter registration event
Tamonda Griffiths – News Writer
Student Government Association (SGA) Representative-at-Large Ian Bergemann organized and set-up an online voter registration last week in the hopes of getting students to register.
“I used to [set up events] in high school,” said Bergemann, “and, you know, [doing it yourself] it’s what works.”
Bergemann said he currently does canvassing in Guilford for the campaign of Christine Cohen, who is running for the state senate for the 12th district. He said with all the volunteers he works with he is the only college student involved.
“I would like to see more engagement,” said Bergemann. “I would like to see more people out there advocating for what they believe in—it doesn’t even have to be politics.”
Bergemann said before starting his current volunteer work for Cohen’s campaign, the results of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s hearing pushed him to engage in politics.
“I’ve been compelled,” said Bergemann.
He said he spent the entire day glued to the television screen watching the hearings unfold, even while at work.
“I was really hopeful that this would be a moment where America would listen and recognize a victim and recognize this is a serious problem,” said Bergemann, “and we didn’t.”
Bergemann said as discouraging as the result was, he is not giving up.
“You don’t get the privilege to forget that it happens,” said Bergemann.
Bergemann said although turnout has been “extremely low,” he has stayed hours after school the entire week in an effort to encourage others to register to vote.
He said people tend to forget that change can come from voting and often feel as if their vote does not matter in the grand scheme of things.
“This [is] my way of thanking Dr. Ford,” said Bergemann. “This is my way of saying to her, that I can validate what happened to you and I’m going to do something about it.’”
Sarah Cook, a junior and interdisciplinary major, said she was not registered to vote because she was not yet of age to vote.
“I know that it’s, like, a, privilege and a right to vote, so I figured that would hop along,” said Cook.
Cook said now that she is registered, her next plan of engagement is to research each candidate
Amanda Japs, a junior and elementary education major, registered to vote when she turned 18 in 2016 but said voting is not “big” in her life.
Japs said she does not feel she is knowledgeable enough about politics to cast a vote. However, she does encourage others to register.
“If you have the right and freedom to do it, might as well just do it,” said Japs, “because not everybody has that right or freedom.”
Photo Credit: Tamonda Griffiths