Students Celebrate National Voter Registration Day

Wednesday, September 20, 2023
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Tuesday, September 19, was National Voter Registration Day, a nonpartisan holiday that reminds Americans to play their part in democracy. Hundreds of volunteers and agencies across Smith County worked together to not only encourage people to register, but also educate them on the ballots. 

The Smith County Elections Office partnered with members of the League of Women Voters Tyler/Smith County, the Gamma Omicron Omega Chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and the Tyler Alumnae Chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. to host Voter Registration Day on the Texas College campus, reminding students and the community of their civic duty to vote.

“This upcoming election will be a constitutional amendment election, where we’re actually making changes to the Texas Constitution,” said JoAnn Hampton, community activist, former Smith County commissioner, and Texas College alumna. Hampton was one of many advocates at Texas College in Tyler on Tuesday, educating students about the upcoming election.

“It’s important to get our young people involved and registered to vote,” Hampton said. “They are our future. They need to understand that voting is a right and we need to try to maintain that right. In order to do that, we have to educate them on the issues that have been out there and how they impact their lives.”

They also all provided a copy of the sample ballots, demonstrating the 14 amendments up for vote.

“We’re explaining to them what they need to do and what’s on there,” Hampton said. “It’s important for them to know each one of those and how they will be impacted by it.”

In each election, there are millions of Americans who end up not voting and it’s largely because they miss registration deadlines, don’t update their registration, or aren’t sure how to register.

“We’re not in high school anymore,” said Roosevelt Williams, National Pan-Hellenic Council President for Texas College. “We don’t have our parents to advocate for us; we have to advocate for ourselves. If you don’t know the law or know what has changed, you’re going to be lost.”

Since it was first observed in 2012, according to the National Voter Registration Day’s website, more than five million voters across all 50 states have registered to vote on National Voter Registration Day, including 1.5 million in 2020 alone.

“It is my job as a campus student ambassador, and as a young person and a peer to the students, to bring the awareness of voting responsibility on campus,” Williams said. “I take it as a big responsibility to know what’s going on and advocate for us."

The efforts of National Voter Registration Day are designed to ensure every eligible voter has the opportunity to vote, creating broad awareness of voter registration opportunities to reach tens of thousands of voters who may not register otherwise.

Tashira Johnson, Texas College’s SGA president, registered to vote for the first time on Tuesday. “I never saw the importance of voting until I registered to vote,” she said. “It felt good.”

Johnson feels many of her peers are at the age that it is important to be involved and informed politically.

"This is our chance to stand up in a way, to be able to do something and be part of something,” noted Johnson.

The upcoming Constitutional Amendment and Joint Election will be on November 7. The deadline to register to vote in that election is Tuesday, Oct. 10. For more information, visit

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Original article by Jennifer Scott with the Tyler Morning Telegraph. To view the original article, visit: