Final push for voters irritates some

NextGen+Climate+volunteers+hand+out+merchandise+and+help+students+register+to+vote+on+Monday%2C+November+7%2C+2016.+NextGen+aims+to+prevent+climate+disaster+through+advocating+political+involvement+on+campus.+%28The+Daily+Iowan%2FOlivia+Sun%29

NextGen Climate volunteers hand out merchandise and help students register to vote on Monday, November 7, 2016. NextGen aims to prevent climate disaster through advocating political involvement on campus. (The Daily Iowan/Olivia Sun)

By Brett Shaw

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This election season, it has been almost impossible to walk down the street without being bombarded with reminders to vote.

From phone calls to people handing out fliers to tables on the Pentacrest, student organizations have been especially involved in getting students to the polls. These organizations will continue to encourage voting throughout Election Day.

NextGen Climate has been active in Iowa City. Tessa Lengeling, communications director for NextGen Climate in Iowa, said the group wants to make voting a fun and exciting experience. It will have people in inflatable costumes getting people’s attention and talking to them about how and where to vote. The group also will text potential voters in hopes of reaching a millennial audience.

University of Iowa College Republicans will be at tables, giving out buttons and handing out brochures for college Republicans. Alexa Den Herder, the head of UI College Republicans, said her organization does not endorse a specific presidential candidate and instead strives to get all students exercising their right to vote.

Mitchell Dunn, the president of UI Democrats, said his organization will go around campus and Iowa City, handing out fliers and talking with people about which candidate will get their vote. UI Democrats, along with the other two organizations, have found that having these face-to-face interactions and being a presence on campus is the best way to get people to vote.

Students on campus have varying opinions on this effort to encourage voting. Some welcome the enthusiasm while others are turned off by the bothersome reminders.

“I think it is really important that students are being informed of how easy it is to vote and how important it is,” said UI student Paul Frederick. “I think we can get apathetic toward that kind of stuff.”

Students who are irritated by the efforts often know their need to vote and do not want further reminders.

“It makes me not want to vote because they are just being annoying about it,” said UI student Ella McDonald-Gravert. “I mean I am voting. I already did.”

Some organizations that are have been trying to get people to vote have experienced negative responses from the public. Den Herder said people have been verbally violent toward UI College Republicans, calling them “women haters.”

“Being on a liberal campus, we know what we are getting into when we start to advocate for get out to vote and start to advocate for our candidates, so nothing really surprises us anymore,” Den Herder said.

Despite some unfavorable opinions toward urging students to vote, their efforts have produced primarily positive results. From getting people to join their email lists or getting people to vote early, most organizations have achieved their goals.

“There was some organization on the Pentacrest, and they told me where I could vote early, and I actually did end up doing that,” UI student Macy Visser said.

“I got signed up for some stuff just because I feel bad saying no sometimes,” said UI student Bryanna Garard.

No matter who or what persuaded students to vote, each organization recognizes the importance and impact of each person who chooses to vote.

“We always say if you are not at the table, you are on the menu,” Lengeling said. “By voting, you are having a seat at that table and are being a part of that conversation of what happens and the path that our history takes in the years to come.”

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