UAA helps first time voters navigate the confusing election season

Published: Oct. 30, 2020 at 4:06 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Turning 18 years old and officially becoming an adult presents many new challenges and responsibilities. One of those is the right to vote.

“There’s a lot at stake in this upcoming election,” Vice President of the Union of Students of the University of Alaska Anchorage Tuan Graziano said. “There’s a divide, a lot of conflicting points and topics that really have huge ramifications on our country, our communities and each individual person and citizen in our country, the U.S.”

UAA’s Student Life and Leadership has run a campus-wide campaign called UAAVotes to inform students and help them feel confident when they head to the polls for the first time ever.

“I think it’s really important for people to see, especially in their early years, the impact of their vote,” UAA Student Organization Coordinator Allie Hartman said. “Seeing what you do on election day, before election day has an impact on your community, in your state and in your country.”

UAAVotes provides students with voting education materials including a nonpartisan ballot guide and access to UAA debates discussing Ballot Measure 1 and Ballot Measure 2.

It also features Jam the Polls, a virtual performance series featuring Alaskan music artists.

“The youth vote is critical historically speaking,” Hartman said. “Youth votes in the age range of 18 to 25 are relatively low to the rest of the U.S. population. We know the educational opportunities provided at universities help inform and shape the way students think. We want to provide balance, information about how to vote, where to vote, etc.”

All voters are encouraged to use the resources to inform how they cast their ballots.

“It’s getting students engaged and out voting,” Graziano said. “Not just out voting, getting them educated on the issues, on the topics, the ballot measures, the candidates in a very nonpartisan and educational manner.”

Students and the public can vote at the UAA campus starting at 8 a.m. on Monday and 7 a.m. on election day Tuesday.

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