A voter van will be running from HSU's Library Circle every hour starting at 11 a.m. on Nov. 6 for the midterm elections. | Photo Illustration by Megan Bender

Voter van comes to the rescue

The first ever voter van at HSU will be running on Nov. 6.

The first ever voter van at HSU will be running on Nov. 6.

During the Nov. 6 midterm elections there will be a free “voter van” for HSU students running all day long.

This van will offer free rides from HSU Library Circle to the Humboldt County Offices of Elections in Eureka and back to HSU. Vans are scheduled to leave on the hour from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and will be coming back from the elections office every hour starting at 11:30 a.m.

HSU student, Nathaniel McGuigan is the regional Mecha co-chair of Northern California. McGuigan said that both Mecha and the North Coast People’s Alliance lent a hand to set the voter van in motion.

“Each organization came up with individual ideas,” McGuigan said. “Mecha [developed] the student side and North Coast People’s Alliance developed it on the community side to get people to vote and register to vote [conditionally].”

The voter van idea came about from the California state law that now allows voters to register the same day as elections, known as conditional voting. According to the California Secretary of State’s website:

“Conditional Voter Registration is a new safety net for Californians who missed the Oct. 22 deadline to register to vote or update their voter registration information for the Nov. 6, General Election.”

There’s only one office in Humboldt County that offers conditional voting. That’s at the Humboldt County Offices of Elections in Eureka. McGuigan said that the voter van is aimed for students who have not registered but want to register and vote on the same day.

“This election cycle it is available for students but in other election seasons it will be available for everyone else,” McGuigan said. “This is currently a trial run.”

Carrie Peyton-Dahlberg is the vice chair of the steering committee for the North Coast People’s Alliance and had a big part in putting this together.

“We’re hoping to increase voter participation and get as many people as possible to get to the county elections office to vote,” Peyton-Dahlberg said. “We want to help people to vote because it’s important.”

McGuigan said that Mecha wants to help students get their voices heard. He said that he knows everyone does not have access to a vehicle which is essential for students whose polling place is not on campus.

“We wanted to not only provide a voice but a mechanism that students can use to exercise their voice,” McGuigan said. “Voting is just one step in the political process in creating change, it is something that everyone can participate in no matter your political stance.”

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