Local Fraternity Lends Hand With Voter Registration

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Local members of the community teamed up with the Bay County Supervisor of Elections Office to ensure residents are registered to vote and informed on important issues, but that's just the first part of hte battle.

For many people, tackling the problem of voter participation starts with voter registration, but their efforts to get out the vote often end there. One local group is hoping to change that.

Members of the Upsilon Alpha Alpha chapter of Omega Psi Phi fraternity worked to help get residents registered to vote, but they say, it's just the beginning of a much bigger plan.

"We're not gonna stop here at just registration, we're trying to get mobilization also," said Reuben Sparks. president of the local chapter.

The group is hoping to encourage minorities to register and for the Glenwood area, which historically has had low voter turnout, putting in the extra effort is important.

"There's just so many things going on locally and in the country and people need to be involved," Sparks remarked. "I think you can't complain if you don't vote and are a part of the solution."

While residents who registered Saturday won't be able to vote in upcoming municipal elections, officials with the Supervisor of Elections Office say that shouldn't stop them from registering as soon as possible.

"Voter registration isn't just for the big elections," said Mark Andersen. "Everybody just pays attention for heavy turnout in the big elections when in fact we have many, many elections that occur throughout the year."

And the fraternity is hoping to encourage people to get off the couch and prepare to hit the polls in the future.