Updated: Jan 19
The Daily Mississippian, Will Carpenter:
The Roundtable has a goal of making Ole Miss a “Voter-Friendly Campus,” a designation awarded by the Campus Vote Project and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators. Mississippi State University is currently the only university in the state to hold the designation.
Erin Payseur Oeth, the project manager for community engagement, said a major part of the group’s goal is to help students through a voting process that can be intimidating and overwhelming.
“I do think it keeps a lot of college students from voting. Even if they’re interested in it,” Payseur Oeth said. “They have to go look everything up and try to get their questions answered themselves to figure out what they need to do. It’s time consuming, it can be complicated, it may not be easy to understand. All of those are things that can discourage people from following through.”
Some of the Roundtable’s 11 student ambassadors have virtual drop-in hours for students to get help filling out voter registration forms and absentee ballot requests. The ambassadors also give short presentations to classes on information that ranges from how to fill out a ballot correctly to pictures of an actual ballot like voters will see in November.
“Our voting ambassadors are really our hands and feet,” Payseur Oeth said. “They’re there to walk students through the registration piece, but also just as important, the absentee ballot piece.”
Voting ambassador, senior Jaycee Brown, also serves as their operations specialist. She assumes the duties of an ambassador while also coordinating class visits with professors that request them.
She said that students have shown interest during presentations, and many simply did not know what was required of them to vote.
“They don’t know that in Mississippi you have to fill out an application before you can even get a ballot, or that you have to have a very specific reason (to request an absentee ballot),” Brown said. “It’s been very engaging and kind of amazing to share that knowledge with someone.”
Read the full article here.