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Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Activities & Organizations

SGA to sponsor voting campaign, dubbed ‘2000 voters 2022’


Gerald Sastra/The Cougar

As voting rights continue to be a point of major contention across the nation, Houston area students are organizing to ensure the voices of their peers are heard. 

Dubbed “2000 Voters 2022,” the initiative is spearheaded by SGA president Joshua Martin and is a joint project between UH and several other local universities such as Rice, Texas Southern and Houston Baptist. The name reflects SGA’s goal to register at least 2000 new voters for the 2022 midterm elections.  

“Really, a big reason for starting this initiative came to me when I realized just how important the upcoming midterm elections will be,” Martin said. “Educating students on their rights and the crucial nature of voting is more important now than ever.” 

Martin said a crucial aspect of the initiative is its comprehensive nature. 2000 Voters 2022 intends to accompany students from the very start of the process with registration, all the way to the ballot box. 

UH SGA members have decided to take a tactical approach in implementing the initiative, dividing it into three distinct phases: registration, education and activation.

“We’re planning on beginning the 2000 Voters 2022 initiative with the voter registration series,” Martin said. “This part of the plan will obviously be focused on getting students registered to vote, and you’ll see us out and around on campus doing just that.”

Though the dates are tentative, Martin said they are currently planning on doing voter registration on Aug. 22-25, Sept. 19-22 and Oct. 5-6.

Beyond registration, Martin hopes to also educate students on the candidates and options available to them, with an emphasis on doing so in a bipartisan manner. 

“Education is a major part of the initiative,” Martin said. “Right now we’re planning on having a candidate’s forum on Sept. 23 where candidates can make their pitches to the student body.”

In addition, UH SGA members are planning on organizing an “Election Day Mania” event on Nov. 8 that, aside from being a general celebration, will also be focused on providing students with some last-minute information about the candidates before they head to the ballot boxes. 

Through the combination of registration and education, Martin hopes to bring students to the final point of the 2000 voters 2022 plan, activation. 

“After all is said and done, we want to activate students,” Martin said. “We hope that through our efforts getting students registered and getting them educated that we’ll ‘activate’ them to continue voting in elections to come.”

Through activation, Martin said that he hopes to encourage students to become more politically engaged, and ultimately encourage them to continue voting and making their voices heard.

The cherry on top of Martin’s three-pronged campaign is the element of competition. While the UH SGA is working in conjunction with other Houston universities, it also hopes to inject a bit of friendly competition between the schools. 

“What we really want to do is keep tabs on the number of people we register, and use those numbers to compare with the other Universities,” Martin said. “I have a lot of faith that my fellow Coogs will come out in force to the polls and show everyone who we really are.”

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