More than one third of eligible voters in the U.S. do not vote. What changes to the election process would you make to increase voter participation?

To ensure that the democracy upon which America is built functions properly, it is important that all Americans who are eligible to vote do so. With voter turnout being increasingly lower in recent elections, it is important that we figure out solutions to increase voter turnout. Low voter turnouts mean only a small portion of the population is being represented and contributing to the decision making of the government. In order to increase voter turnout, actions need to be taken on both the national and local level. These actions include making the voter registration process easier, making voting itself more convenient and accessible, and strengthening the education surrounding the importance of our civic duty to vote in schools.

Making the process of voter registration easier can be done in a variety of ways. One way is to educate the public on how to register to vote and where they can go to register. Making it even easier, states can use automatic voter registration which would allow for eligible citizens to automatically be registered to vote when they present information to the DMV for a license or permit. Same day voter registration is also another way that states could make the registration process simpler. According to the United States Election Project’s data, same day voter registration has been seen to increase voter participation by 12 percent for people ages 18 to 25, 7.5 percent for African Americans, and 11 percent for Latinos. These large percentage increases show how same day voter registration has already been affective in increasing voter turnout. Online voter registration is yet another way that states could make the process of voter registration easier. Instead of having to find time to wait in line at the DMV, eligible citizens would have the option to register to vote online. Online registration would be especially useful for younger voters who are more familiar and accustomed to online services.

Furthermore, state governments can make voting more convenient and accessible by ensuring that there are sufficient resources in place for early voting. Many Americans face time conflicts or family obligations on Election Day; however, given the option to vote on the weekend, more Americans would likely be able to vote. In order to ensure that early voting is successful, states need to have sufficient and conveniently located early voting locations as well as hours of operation that allow those whose workdays start early in the morning and end late at night to participate. The location and resources available should be equal across the state to ensure that every voter has an equal opportunity to vote.

Moreover, it is important to educate young people about the government during their impressionable years. Many people don’t participate in governmental elections out of mistrust for the government. This can be changed if young people are taught in school how to effectively participate in governmental elections and understand the importance of their responsibility to vote. It is important to get the younger generation actively engaged in political discussion and aware of current events while their young to encourage and create a habit of voter participation.

There are many changes to the election process that can be made to increase voter participation. Some of these changes include making the registration process easier and more accessible as well as making the voting process more convenient. Other changes come from encouraging political awareness and activity in young people. These changes come at both the national and state level. Combined together, these changes can help lead to a higher voter turnout.

Sources:

“Voter Turnout Data.” United States Elections Project, www.electproject.org/home/voter-turnout/voter-turnout-data.

Year in Review

[ “Year in Review”  is where you should reflect on the past year and show how you have evolved as a person and as a student.  You may want to focus on your growth in a particular area (as a leader, scholar, researcher, etc.) or you may want to talk about your overall experience over the past year.  For more guidance on using your ePortfolio, including questions and prompts that will help you get started, please visit the Honors & Scholars ePortfolio course in Carmen. To get answers to specific questions, please email eportfolio@osu.edu. Delete these instructions and add your own post.]

G.O.A.L.S.

The G.O.A.L.S. of the Honors and Scholars programs are a great way for me to understand what I need to do on and off campus in order to accomplish my goals. With Ohio State being such a big school and having an abundance of opportunities, it is important that I stay focused on what I want to achieve during my time on campus. By setting a goal for each category of G.O.A.L.S. early on in my academic career at Ohio State, I hope to be able to accomplish each goal by the time I reach graduation.

Global Awareness

For International Business, being globally aware is very important. With this in mind, one of my goals is to travel abroad. Ideally, I would like to travel to a Spanish speaking country. Aside from the Office of International Affairs, the Fisher College of Business has their own office which helps students find study abroad opportunities.

My goal as a freshman is to start finding information about the opportunities I have to study abroad within my major as well as go to informational meetings regarding studying abroad. This will help me stay on top of application deadlines and be aware of the different opportunities.

By the end of my four years at Ohio State, I hope to have made connections through my travels abroad that could potentially help me find a job at a multinational company where I have the opportunity to live and work overseas for a few years.

Original Inquiry

Being an international business major, I want to participate in at least one of the Global Labs offered by the Office of Global Business. These labs are a great way for me to get an intensive knowledge and exposure to different areas of business and another country’s culture. The labs would allow me to take the business theories that I learn in the classroom and apply them to the real world of business.

The Global Labs allow me to have hands on experience while I am also developing connections to a faculty member and people working in the industry. While participating in one of the Global Labs, I would be fully immersed in a different culture and get to experience learning from one of the expert faculty members in the Fisher College of Business. I believe that participation in these labs will allow me grow as a student and better my understanding of the business world on a global level.

Academic Enrichment

With Ohio State being such a big university, there are always events going on outside of the classroom. During my time here, I want to make it a goal to take my learning outside of the classroom by attending events on campus recommended by my professors. I believe that by attending these events, I will be given more exposure to different perspectives or career paths as well as the opportunity to network with individuals in my chosen career field. I also believe that by taking my learning outside of the classroom, I will be given a deeper understanding of what I can do with a specialization in international business or be exposed to a different specialization.

Moreover, I eventually want to become a member of a business fraternity. I plan on attending informational sessions and rush events to get an understanding of the values of the different chapters. There are many benefits to joining one of these organizations such as a smaller community within a large school and the opportunity to network with people in the industry. I believe this will be beneficial and important to my education beyond the classroom.

Leadership Development

Leadership development is important for having a successful career in business. As a freshman, my goal is to find a few clubs and organizations that I can be really involved in. After becoming involved, I plan to run for a leadership position in these different organizations. I believe that these leadership roles will help me in my leadership development and in having a successful career. I also hope that these leadership roles will help me make connections which lead to internship opportunities.

Service Engagement

Giving back to my community is an important aspect of my time here at Ohio State. With this in mind, I want to find an organization early on during my freshman year that will allow me to regularly give back and make a difference in my community. I plan on doing this by joining FisherCares. It is the official undergraduate business community service organization within Fisher.

Furthermore, after I have gained more experience and knowledge within my specialization, I plan to join Students Consulting for Non-Profit Organizations. This way I will be able to help non-profit organizations in my community while also being able to develop skills important to my career.

Career

[“Career” is where you can collect information about your experiences and skills that will apply to your future career.  Like your resume, this is information that will evolve over time and should be continually updated.  For more guidance on using your ePortfolio, including questions and prompts that will help you get started, please visit the Honors & Scholars ePortfolio course in Carmen. To get answers to specific questions, please email eportfolio@osu.edu. Delete these instructions and add your own post.]

Mentor Interview with Laura Cecere

Laura Cecere is a second-year student from Long Island, New York studying political science here at the Ohio State University. After graduation, Laura is hopping that she will have the opportunity to attend a law school closer to home where she will be able to achieve her goal of becoming a lawyer.

Throughout her first two years at Ohio State, Laura has been involved in the Politics, Society, and Law Scholars group. She says that her favorite memory from PSL is the prison field trip. Although she thought it was a little intimidating to be surrounded by prisoners, she said it was an overall really cool and unique experience. Aside from her involvement in the Politics, Society, and Law Scholars group, Laura is involved in her sorority, Alpha Gamma Delta, which she joined during the spring semester of her freshman year. Moreover, Laura is in the process of trying out for Best Buddies which is a nonprofit organization that is aimed at creating one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development, and inclusive living for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

When Laura is not busy with PSL, her sorority, or Best Buddies, she can be found hanging out with her friends, reading, taking workout classes at the RPAC, or working on her homework. Additionally, Laura likes to frequent Sloopy’s Diner, her favorite place to eat on campus, as well as BIBIBOP which is her favorite place to eat off campus. She described BIBIBOP as being equivalent to an Asian Chipotle.

Furthermore, when asked about her favorite classes and memories here at Ohio State, Laura had a hard time choosing. After thinking about all of the classes she has had the opportunity to take, Laura decided that the Italian Literature class she is taking this semester has been her favorite. Laura has Italian ancestry, so she likes that the class allows her to connect to her routes while also being an all-around interesting class. In addition to this, Laura’s favorite memory here at Ohio State was simply meeting all of her friends at the beginning of her freshman year. The most important piece of advice she would give to current freshman is, “Put yourself out there.” She said there are so many people and friends on campus that she never would’ve met or connected with if she hadn’t been willing to put herself out there and gotten involved with different organizations on campus.

About Me

Hi! My name is Madison Doran, and I’m from Dallas, Texas. I am currently a first-year student at The Ohio State University where I am studying International Business in the Fisher College of Business. I eventually hope to pursue a minor in Spanish with hopes of attending law school. As a Politics, Society, and Law (PSL) Scholar, I hope to become more aware of society and take advantage of every opportunity that I am presented.

Being involved on campus is really important to me. With this in mind, I have already joined Young Life and plan on being involved in Fisher organizations such as the Undergraduate Business Women’s Association and FisherCares. I also plan on rushing a business fraternity and a social sorority.