The “Voter Squad” came to the Frederick Community College Student Center for a nonpartisan voter registration drive in early March. They came to offer students a convenient way to register for the 2020 elections, and to express the importance of voting.
The captain of the voter squad, Richard K. Kaplowitz, aka Kap, from the Office of Student Engagement, led the group. Wearing his patriotic attire, he was ready to grab student attention. The group’s top priority was the importance of voter education and civic engagement.
During the drive, the lobby buzzed with students hustling between classes, ready to eat, go to their next class, or leave for the day. The “Voter Squad” was comprised of three volunteers: Maureen Grayzeck (a delegate for former presidential candidate), Amy Klobuchar, Barbara Clary, and Kaplowitz. As students passed by, the volunteers called out, “are you registered to vote?” Some of the questions and concerns addressed touched on the importance of registering, the goals of the voter squad, and concerns from students with no documentation who want to participate.
“Our goal is to have everyone in the country registered, and everyone in the country voting because this is our future, and when we all vote we win!” said Kap Kaplowitz.
The registration panel asked one student a question regarding a shirt he was wearing. The student hesitated and ventured over to the table. Kap explained he uses the clothing the students are wearing to ask them questions, getting them to pause and take notice.
“Rule number one is get the attention of a voter!” Kap said.
Students without documentation were concerned about what they could do. Although they cannot vote, undocumented students asked what they could do instead. The registration panel had a suggestion for them: “They can help get people out to vote, G.O.T.V. (get out the vote).”
The volunteers also reminded students that once they are registered, the early voting deadline for the 2020 primary election in Frederick is April 16 to April 23. The registration deadline for the primary election in Maryland is April 7 at 9 p.m. The registration deadline for anyone who wants to vote in the general election is Oct. 3 at 9 p.m.
“Students can find more information by going online to whenweallvote.org,” Kap said. There, he added, students will find nonpartisan information about voter registration. The organization is dedicated to conducting voter education and civic engagement.