Vote rally marked by low turnout

A small crowd turned out for a GW Votes rally on Kogan Plaza Wednesday evening that registered only four students to vote.

Launched in November 2003, GW Votes is a University initiative seeking to register 100 percent of students for the November election. Approximately 85 percent of students are registered, according to student body surveys.

About 20 students and University officials who helped pioneer the GW Votes initiative attended the event. They pointed out that the “small numbers” and inability to find unregistered voters are a reflection of their success in urging students to cast their ballots in November.

“Our problem now is that we can’t find people who are not registered to vote, which is a good problem,” said Bernard Demczuk, assistant vice president for D.C. affairs and co-chair of the GW Votes committee.

“We have registered about 1,500 students in less than one year. This is an outstanding number, more than what we had hoped for,” Demczuk said. “Our goal now is to find out where the unregistered voters are.”

D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton was scheduled to speak at the event, but could not attend due to a sudden scheduling conflict, organizers said.

In brief remarks, Corinne Schwarz, co-chair of the College Republican National Committee, said that GW is a critical institution in helping reach young voters because of its many politically active students.

While GW Votes typically carries out “Dorm Storms” following a rally, the group was unable to access residence halls because study hour rules during finals week prevent solicitors from entering the buildings.

GW Votes will be attending Colonial Inauguration this summer and will hold a rally in September with Norton.

-Rachel Zavala

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