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North Carolina Public Interest Research Group on the Campus of ASU Today Encouraging Students to Vote

By Paul T. Choate

(from left) ASU volunteers DeHaven Matthews and the “Vote Cat” Lindsey Varner, and NCPIRG staff Laura Murray and Kate Hubschmitt. Photo by Paul T. Choate

Nov. 6, 2012. Representatives from the North Carolina Public Interest Research Group (NCPIRG) have been on campus at Appalachian State University at the Plemmons Student Union today trying make sure everyone that can gets to the polls and votes. 

One concern NCPIRG has is that there are many places around the county, including two different places just on the campus of ASU alone, where people are assigned to vote today. 

Students who live on campus on the west side will be voting at the agricultural center. The other half is assigned to vote in the student union.

“We’re trying to do our best to make sure everyone knows where they’re precinct is located,” said Kate Hubschmitt with NCPIRG. She added that they are also trying to connect with as many people as they can today and encourage them to vote if they did not participate in early voting. 

The organization has been using social media tactics including connecting with people on Facebook, Twitter and similar social media services. Additionally, at their table in the student union they have a QR code on a piece of paper that people can scan with their smartphones. Once the code is scanned, the smartphone automatically navigates to the State Board of Elections website. 

Hubschmitt said that social media tactics can increase voter turnout by 12 percent and that it is critical to use. She also added that, through their presence at ASU today, they are hoping to make anywhere from 1,500 to 2,000 new contacts. 

Also at their table, a banner is laid across that students are encouraged to sign. Hubschmitt said she believes around 800 to 900 people have come by today to sign it already. 

Nationally, there are 16.8 million potential first-time voters in this election cycle.

Hubschmitt noted that in 2008, the presidential election race in the state of North Carolina was decided by only 13,692 votes — less than the ASU’s undergraduate enrollment of 15,460 — so every vote counts. 

NCPIRG is a non partisan effort to help register young people and get them to the polls on Election Day. For more information, visit ncpirg.org

Where to vote:

1 Bald Mountain Todd Fire Department
2 Beaver Dam Beaver Dam Fire Department
3 Blowing Rock Blowing Rock Town Hall
4 Blue Ridge Laurel Fork Baptist Church
5 Boone 1 Watauga County Admin Building 
6 Boone 2 Plemmons Student Union – Table Rock Room 
7 Brushy Fork Oak Grove Baptist Church
8 Cove Creek Western Watauga Community Center
9 Elk Stewart Simmons Fire Department
10 Laurel Creek Cove Creek Fire Department
11 Meat Camp Green Valley Elementary School
12 Boone 3 Agricultural Conference Center
13 New River 1 Boone Town Hall – Council Chambers
14 New River 2 Three Forks Baptist Association
15 New River 3 National Guard Armory
16 North Fork Edgar Eller’s Garage
17 Shawneehaw Matney Community Center
18 Stony Fork Deep Gap Fire Department
19 Watauga Foscoe Fire Department
20 Beech Mountain Buckeye Recreation Center