USG, Go2Go drive students to the polls

Nicole Stempak

Ronnie McArdle, governmental affairs director for the Undergraduate Student Government, wants students to take advantage of early voter registration.

McArdle has hired Go2Go taxi service to transport students to the Portage County Board of Elections office today through Friday from noon to 3 p.m. Go2Go can take up to 11 people at a time, and McArdle estimated the van will make about six trips each day.

“I definitely want to incorporate as many students as possible,” he said. “It’s just a matter of student interest.”

Ohio courts voted Monday to uphold the weeklong window during which new voters can register and cast an absentee ballot on the same day.

McArdle encouraged students to go to the Board of Elections now so they don’t have to worry about voting on Election Day. He cited car trouble, family emergencies, jobs and homework as potentially unexpected obstacles that may prevent students from voting.

“They’ll be done with it,” he said, adding that many students don’t like to wait in line at the polls.

Doron Kutash, owner of Go2Go, said he sees two benefits to working with USG this week.

“Number one, new business,” said Kutash, a Kent State graduate who recently started Go2Go. “Number two, it’s definitely important to get people to the registration booths so they can get to the polls.”

McArdle said a sign-up sheet will be posted outside USG’s office door on the first floor of the Student Center. Transportation funding comes from a combination of a grant from the Ohio Campus Compact and money McArdle requested from the Allocations Committee.

Keary McCarthy, Northeast Ohio communications director for the Ohio Campaign for Change, said volunteers were at Risman Plaza yesterday afternoon to alert students about the upcoming deadlines. He said volunteers will be there again Friday.

“What we were doing today is registering voters, providing information about early voting and communicating to voters the need for change and encouraging them to support Barack Obama,” he said.

Contact student politics reporter Nicole Stempak at [email protected].