With less than two weeks until Pennsylvania voter registration closes for the 2022 midterm elections, political clubs on campus are continuing with their efforts to register student voters.
Ahead of Pennsylvania's Oct. 24 deadline for voter registration, Penn Leads the Vote, Penn Democrats, and Penn College Republicans are are tabling on locust walk, hosting events at college houses, and sharing resources on social media to help students register to vote.
This November, Pennsylvania's gubernatorial and United States Senate elections are key races to watch. Pennsylvanians will be electing a new governor and U.S. Senator. Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro and state Sen. Doug Mastriano are the Democratic and Republican candidates for governor, respectively, and Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D) and Republican nominee Dr. Mehmet Oz are vying for the U.S. Senate seat.
PLTV, a nonpartisan political group, has been registering Penn community members throughout the semester, according to College senior and PLTV Director Nick Williams. He said that their goal is to get as many Penn students to become civically engaged as possible.
“Young people, as a whole, tend to vote less than older people," Williams said. "We hope that through voting and increasing our voter turnout, young people will have an impact on politics and our society."
At PLTV’s National Voter Registration Day event on Sept. 20, Williams said that they registered over 100 voters. Up until the deadline later this month, PLTV will continue to table at college houses across campus to help students, especially first-years, register to vote.
Penn Dems political director and College junior Lucy Kronenberg said that the club has been actively registering voters in preparation for the midterms since the beginning of the calendar year. She said that since the start of 2022, Penn Dems has registered 625 Penn community members through paper registration forms, placing Penn Dems as the top College Democrats organization to register students in Pennsylvania.
Kronenberg said that Penn Dems provides QR codes so that community members can register to vote online. The group also provides physical voter registration forms and brings those forms to the board of elections. She said that since the club is unable to keep track of exactly how many people register online, they did not include mobile registration in their count of how many voters they registered, but Kronenberg estimates that this year's registration total exceeds 625 voters.
Kronenberg said that Penn Dems members have been tabling on Locust Walk between one and three times per week since the start of the semester. She said that Penn Dems has registered over 300 voters since August.
Kronenberg added that Penn Dems volunteers will continue to stand at various locations around campus with physical voter registration forms and QR codes for students to register online until the Oct. 24 deadline.
College Republicans have focused their voter registration efforts on making sure that their members have the resources to vote.
College and Wharton sophomore and College Republicans Political Director Joshua Frazier said that the club helps their members register in Pennsylvania or in their home state.
“College Republicans encourage everyone in our organization to be registered where they feel most connected, politically active, and knowledgeable,” Frazier said.
Frazier also encouraged students to vote in this election, despite it not being a presidential election year.
“There’s usually lower turnout for midterm elections, but there’s so many items on the ballot in regards to policy directives that can be affected by who is elected.” Frazier said.
Kronenberg echoed this sentiment, adding that the midterm elections are "just as important as any presidential election."
“This election, more than any in our young lives, is going to impact us all personally," Kronenberg said. "Our individual rights are on the line in both the Senate and gubernatorial races. This is a time where we have to vote in order to keep the faith in our democracy, our elections, and the fact that our systems still work.”
If students choose to vote by mail-in or absentee ballot, requests must be submitted by Nov. 1 and the ballots must be received by Nov. 8 at 8 p.m. For students planning to vote in person on election day, PLTV offers resources to find the right polling location.