New office to assist with voter registration

Radford University's Student Government Association has established an on-campus Voting Action Office (VAO).

Located in SGA headquarters on the second floor of the Hurlburt Student Center, the office will be a convenient location where students can register to vote with the help of trained student-volunteers.

"We envisioned this as a one-stop shop for voter registration," said Radford City Registrar Tracy Howard, who helped organize the effort.

Howard recently trained about 20 Radford University students as assistant deputy registrars, who, in addition to registering voters, can accept absentee ballots.

SGA President Colby Bender said the student registrars also plan to travel outside of the office to register voters at large gatherings, such as Greek Life events. Once registered, students will be provided information on polling locations.

Howard believes the Radford University VAO to be the first of its kind on a university campus in Virginia. The office is modeled after ones similarly stationed on military bases. Other universities and the Montgomery County registrar are watching the Radford University office closely and may eventually adopt a similar model in the future, Howard said.

"I think it's going to go very well," Howard said. "In the City of Radford, we have a light election season this year. The genuine test will be next year during the Presidential Election."

Bender, a senior serving his final year as SGA president, is excited to see the office become a reality.

"We have been working toward this for a very long time," Bender said. "It is going to be a great resource for our students."

Current VAO hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The SGA office is located in the Bonnie, room 209.

Sep 24, 2015