Updated 09/25/2012 05:29 PM
People register to make their voices heard in November
It's estimated that six million Americans didn't cast a ballot in the 2008 election because they didn't know how to register to vote or missed a deadline. A national effort is aimed at bringing those numbers down. Our Sarah Blazonis has more.
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SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Syracuse University freshman Gabriella Rusk wasn't old enough to vote in the last presidential election, but says it was important for her to get others involved this time around.
"My government teacher senior year was really adamant about getting everyone to vote, so when I came out here on campus I saw they were registering people to vote and I asked how I could help out," said Rusk, who's part of the voter mobilization campaign for SU and SUNY ESF students.
While students have spent the past few days helping peers register to vote, Tuesday's effort was part of National Voter Registration Day. Rusk says about 90 students had signed up by mid-afternoon, a number she would've liked to climb a bit higher.
"It's not a long form, it's half a sheet, it doesn't ask any crazy information," said Rusk.
The goal of the grassroots movement isn't just to get people registered. It's also about educating the public about the voting process.
"I think on Election Day they'll be like, 'Oh, I should've done that because now I want to go vote,' but they don't realize that to vote you can't just show up," Rusk said.
U.S. Census statistics show New York was among five states that saw anywhere from 56 percent to 61 percent of voters come out in 2008, the group with the second lowest turnout nationwide.
"Personally, I think it's so important because so many people throughout our history have fought so hard for us to get the right to vote," said Rusk.
October 12th is the deadline to register in time to vote this November and have a say in the country's future.