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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

Secretary of State Mollis slates Voter Registration Drive at URI

Media Contact: Wendy Roworth, 401-874-2773

Outreach to college students this Tuesday is part of push to get younger voters to the polls in 2008

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Students at the University of Rhode Island’s Kingston campus will get a practical lesson in political science when the Secretary of State’s office visits this Tuesday as part of a statewide college voter registration drive.

“Students who register to vote are more likely to become active and informed citizens of this state. Some of these young people will be our leaders of tomorrow. Now is the time to engage them,” said Secretary of State A. Ralph Mollis.

Students will be able register at URI’s Memorial Union from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tues., Sept. 18. The voter registration initiative is a partnership with the state Board of Elections and URI.

“I am grateful to our partners for their commitment to this important initiative. Our success at URI will pay dividends for decades to come as these youngsters exercise their right to vote election after election,” Mollis said.

The Secretary of State’s office plans to visit every Rhode Island high school and college leading up to the 2008 elections. In order to register, students must be age 18 on or before Election Day 2008, residents of Rhode Island and have a valid Rhode Island driver’s license or social security number.

“An informed electorate is the keystone of democracy. I hope our visit to URI produces a new generation of voters and citizens committed to making their voices heard,” Mollis said.

The Secretary of State’s office prepares the ballots for all federal, state and municipal elections held in Rhode Island. In addition, the office maintains the state’s central voter registration system and distributes handbooks that explain how to run for office, how to register to vote and how to vote.

“My goal is to make it easier for people to vote and to make government more open and accessible to everyday Rhode Islanders. The more that people are invested in their government, the better it will serve them,” said Mollis.

In addition, the Secretary of State’s office offers all Rhode Island public and private schools a curriculum dubbed “Civics 101.” The course is designed to encourage students to learn more about the workings of government and to prepare them for public service.

For more information about the programs and services the Secretary of State offers Rhode Islanders, visit www.sec.state.ri.us.

PRESS CONTACT: Chris Barnett, 401-222-4293