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A different kind of midterm

College students at Northeastern and across the country still have time to prepare for an important midterm scheduled for Tuesday, say the leaders of Northeastern’s college Democrats and Republicans student organizations. But it’s not in a classroom. It’s in a voting booth.

Election Day on Nov. 4 will be the first chance for many Northeastern students to exercise their right to vote. And Marvin McMoore, SSH’15, of the Northeastern University College Democrats, and Megan Haas, AMD’17, of the Northeastern University College Republicans, are working to make sure students take advantage of that opportunity.

“A huge part of why students say they don’t vote is because they don’t trust politics,” said Haas, a journalism and marketing dual major. “It’s sad they don’t want to participate in elections because they don’t trust it, but if they want to trust it they have to vote.”

On Tuesday, Massachusetts voters will select their next governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general, and respond to four ballot questions on issues including the casino law and beverage container deposits.

Haas and McMoore’s duties for campaigning and getting out the student vote extend well beyond the Northeastern campus: Both were elected this year to serve as president of their respective party’s state collegiate chapter.

“Obviously we have the campaigns this year and it is an exciting time for us to be presidents,” said McMoore, a political science major. “But more importantly, we have to coordinate all of the chapters across the state and work on issues advocacy.”

Hass and McMoore have been on the campaign trail in recent days pushing for their party’s candidates in the statewide races. Last week McMoore traveled to several college campuses where he and U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III, the first-term Democrat from Brookline, discussed the issues with students. Haas, for her part, organized a door-to-door canvass on Cape Cod where chapter members knocked on 2,000 doors.

“You really learn about your passion for it,” Haas said of being a statewide leader. “If I wasn’t passionate about this I would have been gone within the first week.”

On campus both groups have worked tirelessly to help students register to vote and boost their excitement to vote through social media blasts and campus visits from the likes of Gov. Deval Patrick.

“We’ve been telling all college Democrats not only to vote, but also to tell their roommates, their friends, and their grumpy uncle to vote,” McMoore said. “And also to knock on doors and get on the phones to get people in the community out to vote.”

Haas and McMoore noted a few of the issues they say students should keep in mind when they cast their ballots on Tuesday. Haas said they should focus on college financing and job creation, with an eye toward employment opportunities after graduating. McMoore said that he regularly reminds potential voters of the progress made in Massachusetts during Patrick’s tenure and the need to continue growing in regard to energy efficiency, student achievement, and equality.

Both students hope to work together in the coming months to tackle issues affecting college students across the state. But that’ll have to wait until after Election Day. On Tuesday, McMoore and Haas said they plan on attending a victory party for their party’s candidate for governor.

Not sure where to vote? Click here to find your polling location.

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