Colleges in Yakima participating in statewide voter challenge

Colleges in Yakima participating in statewide voter challenge

YAKIMA, Wa. -- Studies show young adults are less likely to register to vote and a statewide challenge that Perry Technical Institute is a part of is trying to change that.

Perry Technical Institute is one of many universities statewide participating in the first year of the governor’s student voter registration challenge, to try and get as many eligible students as possible to register before the November 6th election.

“Yes, I have registered to vote and I think it’s important for people to be able to show their own opinions,” said a Perry Tech student.

“I think it’s important for people to vote because they get to express what they believe in,” said a Perry Tech student.

Although some students at Perry Tech Institute have already registered to vote, Spokesperson Smitha Easter says they signed up for the challenge to try and encourage young adults to vote and have a voice.

“It was a way to help our students, here at Perry Tech we’re all about helping our students so any way that we can possibly remove a barrier and make their lives easier in any way we definitely want to do it,” said Easter.

According to an analysis of U.S census data from the Pew Research Center, millennials are now as large of a political force as Baby Boomers and are roughly 31 percent of the overall electorate.

But Easter says millennials continue to have the lowest voter turnout of any age group and there can be many reasons for that including busy schedules or having to move often.

Easter says it’s important for millennials to realize that their vote can actually impact and change their own future.

“We believe that our students can make a difference, whatever program they choose, whichever way they want to take their lives career wise, so we definitely believe that their votes can matter that their opinions matter,” said Easter.

The challenge asks Washington Higher Education institutes to compete on who has the higher percentage of new registrations, overall percentage of student registrations and much more.

The winners of each category will be invited to Olympia for lunch at the Governor’s Executive Residence among other prizes.

Anyone can register with the Institutes participating even if you are not a student.

Among Perry Technical Institute, Central Washington University and Yakima Valley College will also be participating in the challenge.

The schools have until the end of October to complete the challenge.

For more information or the register click here.

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