UVA Students Discuss Civic Engagement with Governor's Office

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Students at the discussion on civic engagement Students at the discussion on civic engagement

Governor Terry McAuliffe is reaching out to students across the commonwealth to find new ways to get young people involved in local governance. 

The governor's Millennial Civic Engagement Task Force met with University of Virginia students on Thursday, September 7, to get their ideas.

Secretary of the Commonwealth Kelly Thomasson and Deputy Secretary Traci DeShazor led the discussion, asking the students what barriers they face when it comes to civic engagement.

The most talked-about issue was trouble registering to vote and figuring out where to cast ballots.

Eleven UVA dorms have names that are the same as streets in Charlottesville and Albemarle County, which causes confusion.

One student argued students just aren’t passionate enough about voting and therefore they can be easily deterred from registering.

“I found ways to be passionate about the issues that we were voting on and the candidates that were running,” said Gabby Levet, a fourth year student. “And once I was able to do that, the barrier to registering - figuring out how to register to vote - was negligible because I was like ‘I want to vote, therefore I will figure out how to vote.’”

Students also raised concerns about having exams on or around Election Day.

One student from Maine also noted that out-of-state students like himself who have changed their registration, are simply unaware of the differences of voting in Virginia like the fact that Virginians vote for lieutenant governor which is unlike many other states.

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