Defending Democracy

Students register to vote for the upcoming primary election

Holly Rooney, Staff Writer

With a goal to get all of Omaha to vote, women have been hard at work dedicating their time and energy to “Making Democracy Work,” The League of Women Voters have been a part of a recent push to get Omaha citizens out to register to vote and exercise their rights.

The League made their way to Millard West on April 24th during third block. They set up booths in the lunch room with voting information and forms to register any eligible student interested. The League has made multiple rounds to all three Millard high schools to reach out to students before the Apr 27th registration deadline arrives.

The 2018 Nebraska Primary election is coming on May 15th, which will narrow down what candidates will go on to compete in the 2018 general election. If voters want to ensure representation for their political party, it’s important to go out and cast their vote during the May election because only the top two candidates, regardless of political party affiliation, will move on. One voter that will be at the voting booths is senior Megan Willburn.

“Everyone has issues they support and propaganda they subscribe to, but none of that matters unless you choose to be heard,” Willburn said. “The voter turnout is uncomfortably low in this country. For a government supposedly “by the people,” people aren’t very involved right now. Every individual citizen has the right, and the privilege of casting their vote for how the government affects them and how the future turns out.”

On average, it only takes about three minutes to register someone to vote. Any student that approached the League of Women Voter’s booth, was shown informational flyers and given a clipboard with a single form to fill out. After recording their name, address and party they wish to affiliate with, they were ready to vote.

Unfortunately, the booth didn’t attract as many people as the League was hoping for. Since many seniors leave for open campus during lunch, they were unaware they booth was open. However, like many students, senior Caleb Homolka registered online to vote at the same time they renew their driver’s license when they turn 18.

“It’s so easy to register online,” Homolka said. “All you do is fill out simple information and check which party you want to be registered as. I got a letter a few days later confirming the registration and where my polling center is at.”

Not only does the League focus on voter registration and participation, but they also educate the public by addressing money and politics and voter suppression. In addition, they frequently lobby on bills in the legislature that relate to environment, health and welfare of children and again, voter suppression.

The League of Women Voters are nonpartisan and do not support a certain party or try to persuade citizens to supports certain candidates when they register new voters.

“We want everyone in Omaha to get out and vote,” League member, Linda Duckworth said. “Not as many people east of 72nd Street vote, so one of our goals is to try and moderate that and have better representation city-wide.”

To strive towards their goal of getting all of Omaha to vote, The League of Women Voters attempt to make the voter registration process as quick and simple as possible. Students that chose to register are rewarded with the participation in government and a role in the nations democracy.