GENESEO, N.Y. (WROC) — A local college is seeing a huge increase in student voting.
The number of students casting ballots on the SUNY Geneseo campus rose by almost 600%, according to a report released by the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement.
With the general election less than a week away student Rachel Wallisky is making sure everyone gets out to vote.
“We’re pushing the importance of everyone’s voice to be heard regardless of opinion, or political stance or political affiliation,” said Wallisky.
At SUNY Geneseo, voter registration drives are common. That may be one of the reasons why participation is high. Robbie Economou says students are inspired to take action when they see their peers vote.
“I can already see that students are way more intrested coming to the canidates forum hearing the candiates talk for this upcoming local elections,” said Economou a student at SUNY Geneseo.
At Geneseo the number of registered student voters rose from 335 in 2014 to nearly 2,000 in 2018.
College leaders say the increase proves more young people are becoming politically motivated — even those far from home.
“What happens at a town council meeting or what happens in the local county judicial hearing process has an affect on them because this is their home while they are here,” said Nicholas Palumbo, Assistant Dean of Students for Leadership and Service.
Palumbo wants people to remember who’s behind those numbers.
“All of this happened because of students, said Palumbo. “Students have seen the value in voting and they began articulating that to others.”
“Because more people are getting out there and more young people are making their voices heard,” said Economou.
SUNY Geneseo has been recognized by National Voter Registration Day for it’s student-led voter registration efforts. They also have been designated a voter friendly campus by the Campus Vote Project a non-partisan organization.
The NSLVE is the only national study of college-student voting. Colleges like SUNY Geneseo use the studies to identify and address gaps in political and civic participation.