Brakes slammed on voter drive

By Gus Bode

USG registers about 120 students, but misses deadline

Factoid:Those concerned with their registration forms should contact the USG office at 536-3381

“I mean, my disappointment, there’s not even a word for it. It’s too late to register now.”- Daniel Monaco- pull quote


More than 100 people across campus who registered to vote are out of luck after their registration forms were turned in late. And with less than two weeks to go before the election, many are unaware of their registration status.

Throughout September and the beginning of October, the Undergraduate Student Government registered students and acted as a middleman for other groups that were registering students by offering to turn in their forms.

But when USG President Tequia Hicks went to turn in the forms Oct. 7 at the Jackson County Clerks office, she was told some of the forms should have been mailed in earlier, therefore making most of the forms invalid.

“Basically there are two forms, white mail-in-forms and yellow official registrar forms,” Hicks said. “We thought you could turn the white ones in with the others, but they were actually supposed to be mailed in.

“I didn’t know because I usually deal with the yellow ones. It wasn’t a responsibility issue, it was a misunderstanding of the rules.”

Regardless of how or why it happened, Daniel Monaco, who was not informed of the incident until contacted by THE DAILY EGYPTIAN, said the main issue is that he and others were robbed of their right to vote.

“This is a really important election,” Monaco, a junior in radio and television said. “And for the first time ever I actually wanted to vote. I had the feeling that this would be the first election that my vote would really count.


“The country is way too polarized for you not to pick your issues and decide which side you want to be on. And not being able to participate is very disappointing. I mean, my disappointment, there’s not even a word for it. It’s too late to register now.”

TyJuan Cratic, a USG member who registered Monaco and about 10 others at Kellogg Hall early last month said he was devastated when he found out about the mistake. He said the matter was made worse because most of those affected by the mistake don’t even know.

“They would have showed up, been allowed to vote, but then had their ballot thrown out,” Cratic said. “To me, that is worse than not knowing. I am just so angry and so devastated and disappointed.”

Shanita Mickens, the Kellogg Hall Resident Assistant who initiated the registration drive, echoed Cratic’s disappointment.

“I felt really bad,” Mickens said. “I brought them here to do this. I don’t want to blame USG, they do a lot of wonderful things and I don’t want to discourage people from partaking in the political process, but this is a major hindrance.”

Initially, Cratic took it upon himself to contact all of those involved. So far, only those who registered at Kellogg Hall were notified, but he encourages those with questions to contact the USG office.

Hicks also warned all of those who filled out white forms with other organizations to contact the County Clerks office because she said this problem is not unique to USG.

“I was there and I know that there were other organizations not affiliated with us who had this same problem,” Hicks said.

DAILY EGYPTIAN reporter John Henry contributed to this report.