University partners with TurboVote to increase voter participation

News Date: 
Tue. 08/26/2014

The Falcon community will be better informed about the election process and participation through the University’s recent partnership with TurboVote, a nonpartisan website launched by Democracy Works – an organization that aims to increase voter participation among college and university communities. 

TurboVote will allow students, faculty and staff to sign up at After the initial registration process, participants will then receive information and reminders about voter registration, where to vote, when to vote and how to vote. TurboVote is free and is offered as a resource to the Friends University community by both the Friends University Student Government Association (SGA) and the Student Affairs Division. 

“TurboVote will increase engagement with local and national elections by making it easy to register to vote, receive reminders about local elections (including the location of an assigned polling place) and even receive absentee ballots, if preferred,” said Friends University Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Carole Obermeyer.

Friends University is one of only three universities in the state to partner with TurboVote, and the only private college. Other partners in Kansas are Fort Hays State University and University of Kansas. 

“I think it is important for students to use TurboVote because it gives them the opportunity to be involved in county and national elections. We all need to be involved in the decisions that are made in this country,” said Mary Beth Byers, executive president of SGA. “After all, one of the main goals of our founding fathers was the freedom for people to speak their opinion.”

TurboVote is for those who are already registered to vote and for those who have not yet registered. The website keeps voters more informed and involved, no matter where they are in the process. 

“What, you’ve never missed an election? We love voting, and we’ve definitely missed the opportunity – because we were away at school, or traveling or just got busy at work,” the TurboVote website says. “Or maybe you remember the last time you got to the polls, only to realize there was a new bond issue you hadn’t heard anything about. Did you vote anyway, or did you just leave it blank? We help give you advance warning, so you can research what’s on the ballot. And we can help you vote by mail, so your location – or schedule – won’t get in the way. We really do make voting easier.”

Byers said she encourages the Friends University community to get involved with TurboVote.

“I highly encourage everyone to take advantage of this opportunity to register to vote. TurboVote truly helps you understand what to do and is very informative. It will even let you know when elections are happening,” she said.

Friends University offers high-quality undergraduate and graduate academic programs for traditional students and working adults. Rooted both in the liberal arts tradition and the Christian tradition, students learn inside and outside the classroom. Friends University is a regional university with national programs and an international presence.

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