LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Kentucky’s general election is approaching. Bellarmine University held a drive on National Voter Registration Day on Tuesday to get students prepared.
The League of Women Voters volunteers helped students check voter status, register to vote and request mail-in ballots.
“I actually came here to register, and I realized I was already registered. I thought you had to like register every single year, and they were like, 'no, you registered. You're good girl.' I'm like, wow,” said Bellarmine University student Beatriz Arevalo.
Arevalo is a Cuban immigrant.
The Bellarmine University junior believes every election should matter to every voter.
“I think like a lot of people really only care when it's like a big, national, presidential-type election, but like, more local elections, national elections, like they are the ones that kind of impact you the most," said Arevalo. "You're living here in the city every single day, and I think more people should care about like more local elections."
She’s focusing on making sure other immigrants are informed about candidates and election issues.
“Personally, going to the polls, like with my parents that like maybe don't know English that well, I kind of have to be the one that explains to them everything about like, OK, so this is what this candidate stands for. This is why you should vote for these people,” said Arevelo.
Bellarmine University is one of more than 1,300 campuses participating in the All In Campus Democracy Challenge. The nonpartisan initiative encourages and supports student civic engagement.
Mikayla Pitman, a Bellarmine University junior, appreciates that commitment.
Pitman said it gives students the power to act on changes they want to see.
“Getting young people to vote is very important, and I think a lot of people my age have gotten kind of apathetic about like the issues that we're facing, but I think this is a great way to like get people my age involved,” said Pitman. “I feel like our voices really do matter when we can come together.”
Pitman has been registered to vote since high school.
“A lot of our ancestors like fought for this right, so I think it's very important for like people our age to like, pick up on that, like it's not an opportunity everyone gets,” said Pitman.
It is an opportunity that can shape the future.
Bellarmine University’s student government association will host another voter registration drive on Thursday. Students will also be able to review ballots and learn about candidates.