Students receive virtual reminder for voting and voter registration through Rock the Vote

@WKUPoliSci tweet screenshot via Twitter.

Maggie Thornton

WKU’s Political Engagement Project hosted their annual Rock The Vote event yesterday, but this year’s celebration of National Voter Registration Day looked a little different than in year’s past. 

Rock the Vote is usually celebrated with a day full of music, food and Big Red to draw students out and encourage them to register to vote. This year the Political Engagement Project partnered with the Department of Political Science, WKU Young Democrats and WKU College Republicans to encourage students to vote through a reimagined virtual format. 

Throughout the day, WKU faculty and students posted on social media platforms using #HilltoppersVote, sharing why they are voting and telling their friends why they should vote too. 


Saundra Ardrey, an associate professor in the Political Science Department and head of the Political Engagement Project, says the goal of Rock the Vote is to get young people to realize how easy it is to vote and that their vote matters. 

“The last governor’s race was decided by a mere 10 votes per district, and in a presidential year, each vote will make a difference,” Ardrey said. “Young people need to have a voice and an influence because we’ve found that if you’re not involved in the political process, your group gets less representation so you need to be in there shaping the future like you want it.”

Creeson Martin, president of WKU Young Democrats, said events like Rock the Vote are important to college campuses because they show students that registering to vote is easy and it gives them the information they need. 

“Rock the Vote is nonpartisan,” Martin said. “We don’t care whether you are a democrat or republican, as long as you sign up to vote.”

Adam McGuffey, vice chairman of WKU College Republicans, says that their organization believes voting empowers normal citizens and that should not be taken for granted.

“We must protect it, and we must never take it for granted and vote when we can.” said McGuffey. “Read up on the issues, think about where you stand and use your power as an American citizen, young or old, to change the course of our future here in America.”

The Political Engagement Project has been on WKU’s campus for 10 years. It is part of a American Democracy Project with the goal of giving students the information and skills they need to participate in the political process. 

Ardrey encourages students to become involved in the political process now, instead of waiting until they’re older. 

“College students often wait until they get older because they feel they don’t have as much to protect right now,” Ardrey said. “But I make the point to students that this is your time. Young people have their whole life in front of them so now is the time to make sure you vote for policies that reflect the kind of lifestyle and quality of life you want to see.” 

The Political Engagement Project has activities lined up for the rest of the semester that students can get involved with. They can be found on the Department of Political Science Webpage. The next upcoming event is the WKU Young Democrats and College Republicans discussion forum on Sept. 28, where the parties will discuss their respective platforms. 

As a reminder, Oct. 5 is the last day to register to vote. 

“You should vote because even if your vote may not matter as much in bigger elections, smaller offices matter too, and those really do come down to small differences in numbers,” Martin said. “This is a very important election so get out and vote.”