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Political push on college campuses to reach young voters

With two weeks until the November midterm elections, there is an aggressive outreach to young voters on college campuses.

On the UC San Diego campus Monday, student government leaders organized a town hall forum with candidates from the San Diego City Council District 6 race and the District 35 Superior Court race.

“The overwhelming majority of students are not registered to vote and that’s something we’re trying to change here,” Daniel Soria told KPBS News.

San Diegans will soon return to the polls for the midterm elections. What do voters need to know about the voting process?

Soria is a UC San Diego sophomore studying political science and international affairs. He is also a student government leader working to educate more of his classmates.

“We’re trying to bridge the gap between student political initiatives and those addressed by our politicians here in the greater San Diego area. We’re also trying to make sure UCSD students know who’s running in the districts they live in,” Soria said.

Student outreach efforts are not limited to UCSD. On Sunday, U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York appeared at a rally on the campus of UC Irvine. The Democratic congresswoman was invited to support Southern California candidates and democracy.

The deadline to register online and receive a mail-in ballot is midnight Monday. But San Diego County Registrar of Voters Cynthia Paes said anyone eligible can still register conditionally and vote provisionally at any county voting center.

“Provisional voting means your ballot goes inside an envelope and once we verify your registration and verify you didn’t vote elsewhere in the state. Then we will count that ballot," Paes said.

Workers at the San Diego County Registrar of Voters office process mail-in ballots, Monday, San Diego, Calif., October 24, 2022.
M.G. Perez
Workers at the San Diego County Registrar of Voters office process mail-in ballots, Monday, San Diego, Calif., October 24, 2022.

So far, the number of mail-in ballots to be counted for the November 8th election is down significantly.

Paes said only 148,000 ballots had been received by her office by Monday. That’s compared to more than half a million ballots received two weeks before last year’s recall election.

One of those mail-in ballots was dropped off at the registrar's office Monday by Dora Crockett, a San Diego native who has been registered to vote since she was 17. Crockett had a stern message for those who have still not registered.

“I say shame on you. Get out and register to vote. We need your vote to make a change. Our democracy is being challenged and we need you to get out and vote,” she said.

Get general information about the election, news coverage, an interactive ballot guide, and results on election day.