AC Transit Joins Effort to Increase Voter Registration

Photo: Representatives of Regiester to Vote, Alameda County register UC Berkeley students during a stop on their cross-county trip in an AC Transit bus.
Fayzan Gowana/Photo
Representatives of Regiester to Vote, Alameda County register UC Berkeley students during a stop on their cross-county trip in an AC Transit bus.

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Workers from the Alameda County Registrar of Voters are driving a bus to various Bay Area stops, including UC Berkeley yesterday, as part of a campaign to register local residents to vote.

Workers parked an AC Transit bus at Telegraph Avenue and Bancroft Way yesterday and set up a voter registration table, signing up passersby to vote.

The representatives had registered 65 people to vote by the time they left campus, said Thomas York, information systems analyst for the Alameda County Registrar of Voters.

"We're looking for ways to make registering to vote as easy as possible," said Guy Ashley, spokesperson for the Alameda County Registrar of Voters, who said the campaign has registered about 1,000 people in the past month.

In an effort to reach out to college students who may not have had registered yet, organizers are visiting a number of colleges in the area, including Cal State East Bay. The campaign has been most successful in registering students on local campuses, Ashley said.

The bus has also been making stops around Alameda County and Contra Costa County at a number of community events, including festivals and baseball games. Between 40 to 80 people have registered at each stop, York said.

The Registrar of Voters has typically seen a surge of applications on the last day to register, said Ashley, adding that he is hoping that the voter registration bus will help to counteract that trend. However, the registrar's offices will be open until midnight of the deadline, Oct. 20.

The Registrar of Voters has teamed up with AC Transit before. During the 2006 election season, the organization placed voting machines on a bus and drove around to encourage people to vote early.

"We would take the bus to senior centers and other places where mobility was an issue for people," said Clarence Johnson, spokesperson for AC Transit.

Sophomore Eric Allen, who registered to vote as he sat in the bus yesterday, said that he wanted to make his voice heard on local issues.

"With everything going on right now, I feel I should be registered in Berkeley ... to be represented in Berkeley," Allen said.

Tags: ELECTIONS 2008, VOTER REGISTRATION, VOTING


Anna Hiatt is the photo editor. Contact her at [email protected]



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