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MTSU’s True Blue Voter drive registers almost 200 ...

MTSU’s True Blue Voter drive registers almost 200 students during CUSTOMS events

Incoming MTSU students Skyler Senesombath and Amy Lin register to vote as Zachary Brow awaits his turn at one of the True Blue Voter registration tables available this summer at the Campus Recreation Center during the CUSTOMS new student orientation sessions. Almost 200 students were registered during the ongoing initiative in partnership with the Rutherford County Election Commission. (MTSU file photo by J. Intintoli)

Close to 200 incoming Middle Tennessee State University students are now eligible to cast ballots this fall, thanks to the ongoing True Blue Voter Initiative.

Announced in mid-June, the True Blue Voter Initiative targeted the recently completed summer CUSTOMS orientation sessions for incoming freshmen to register them as part of a partnership between MTSU and the Rutherford County Election Commission, which provides expertise about absentee voting and voter registration.

Incoming MTSU freshmen Amarya Zachery, left, and her sister, Tierany Zachery, hold up “I’m registered to vote” signs after registering at one of the True Blue Voter registration tables available this summer at the Campus Recreation Center during the CUSTOMS new student orientation sessions. Almost 200 students have been registered during the ongoing initiative in partnership with the Rutherford County Election Commission. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Incoming MTSU freshmen Amarya Zachery, left, and her sister, Tierany Zachery, hold up “I’m registered to vote” signs after signing up at one of the “True Blue Voter” registration tables available this summer at the Campus Recreation Center during CUSTOMS new student orientation sessions. Almost 200 students have registered so far this summer thanks to the new voter awareness initiative, which was created in partnership with the Rutherford County Election Commission. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Organizers said 195 students have been registered since mid-May, and more are expected this fall as the election commission, True Blue Voter project, Student Government Association and the American Democracy Project at MTSU help students with registration procedures and voting information during events such as the Sept. 17 Constitution Day activities.American Democracy Project logo

Election Commission Administrator Alan Farley called the initiative a “model partnership” that extends beyond Rutherford County by helping students register to cast ballots, including absentee ballots, in any Tennessee county. Of those registered thus far, 129 live outside Rutherford County.

“I am very pleased with our initial results. The True Blue Voter initiative was able to engage and start the dialogue for civic engagement for many students,” Farley said.

“This will grow with each incoming class at MTSU. I look forward to expanding upon the registration process by helping these, and other students already registered to vote, obtain their absentee ballots so they can cast their votes in the November general election.”

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee and university Board of Trustees Chairman Stephen Smith joined Farley in introducing the drive June 12 at the Miller Education Center.

Incoming MTSU freshman Alex Hoose registers to vote at the True Blue Voter registration table available this summer at the Campus Recreation Center during the CUSTOMS new student orientation sessions. Almost 200 students have been registered during the ongoing initiative in partnership with the Rutherford County Election Commission. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Incoming MTSU freshman Alex Hoose registers to vote at the “True Blue Voter” registration table, which has been available this summer at the Campus Recreation Center during CUSTOMS new student orientation sessions. Almost 200 students have registered so far this summer thanks to the new voter awareness initiative, which was created in partnership with the Rutherford County Election Commission. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

“Informed citizenship, followed by a duty and obligation to vote, is the cornerstone of the most free society the world has ever known — and that’s us,” said Smith, an MTSU alumnus. “And so, I am thrilled to witness this dream, and the goal of our students in action and interaction, become a reality.”

Dr. Sidney A. McPhee

Dr. Sidney A. McPhee

Stephen B. “Steve” Smith, alumnus and MTSU Board of Trustees member

Stephen Smith

McPhee said CUSTOMS “presented a tremendous opportunity to provide an easy and convenient way for students to register to vote,” while the initiative itself “helps mitigate the roadblocks and walks students through the steps of requesting an absentee ballot and casting their vote by mail.”

The True Blue Voter Initiative also will provide voter registration information at the upcoming Sept. 20 Gubernatorial Forum at Murphy Center. Forum details are available at www.mtsu.edu/2018forum.

For more information about the new True Blue Voter Initiative, visit the website at http://mtsu.edu/truebluevoter or contact Cathy Sgambati, public relations specialist, at 615-898-5348 or cathy.sgambati@mtsu.edu.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

Incoming MTSU freshmen hold up “I’m registered” signs after registering to vote at one of the True Blue Voter registration tables available this summer at the Campus Recreation Center during the CUSTOMS new student orientation sessions. Pictured, from left, are students Anthony Mathers, Will Browder, Chalyce Gammon; Rutherford County Election Commission staffers Lisa Mosley and Bree Harrell (behind table); and students Micah Hoke and Patrick Sams. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Incoming MTSU freshmen hold up “I’m Registered” signs after registering to vote at one of the “True Blue Voter” registration tables available this summer at the Campus Recreation Center during CUSTOMS new student orientation sessions. Celebrating their new status are, from left, students Anthony Mathers, Will Browder and Chalyce Gammon; Rutherford County Election Commission staffers Lisa Mosley and Bree Harrell; and students Micah Hoke and Patrick Sams. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Incoming MTSU students Skyler Senesombath and Amy Lin register to vote as Zachary Brow awaits his turn at one of the True Blue Voter registration tables available this summer at the Campus Recreation Center during the CUSTOMS new student orientation sessions. Almost 200 students have been registered during the ongoing initiative in partnership with the Rutherford County Election Commission. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Incoming MTSU students Skyler Senesombath, center left, and Amy Lin, center right, register to vote as Zachary Brow awaits his turn at one of the “True Blue Voter” registration tables available this summer at the Campus Recreation Center during CUSTOMS new student orientation sessions. Almost 200 students have registered so far this summer thanks to the new voter awareness initiative, which was created in partnership with the Rutherford County Election Commission. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)


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