Young people are notoriously low-turnout voters.
Only 36 percent of eligible young voters cast a ballot in 2018. This year, a group of UNC students is trying to change that by registering, educating and encouraging young citizens to vote.
Party at the Polls is a nonpartisan event that aims to get students to vote in Chapel Hill’s elections. It will take place on Nov. 5 in the Pit and will be hosted by the University’s chapter of North Carolina Public Interest Research Group — commonly known as NCPIRG — with the help of UNC Young Independents and March For Our Lives UNC.
“Ideally, everyone who is registered to vote on UNC’s campus comes out,” Gabriel Fields, campus organizer for UNC's chapter of NCPIRG and an alumnus of the University, said.
He said there will be games, live music and food for attendees.
This year marks the second year in a row that NCPIRG has put on an event of this kind. Public research interest groups across the nation have put on similar events.
“What keeps people from voting is the opportunity cost that comes with it — like, 'I’m missing class,' or 'I’m missing something else,'” Fields said. “We’re trying to eliminate that and make it more enjoyable and more of a social experience."
Caitlyn Sigafose, a sophomore majoring in neuroscience and campaign coordinator for the New Voters Project for NCPIRG, said the atmosphere of the party will encourage students to vote.
“The party is meant to help instigate students to vote,” Sigafose said. “When people see other people voting, or have a particular time designated to vote, they are more likely to make it to the polls.”