VSU’s ‘Blaze the Ballot’ initiative hopes to educate, encourage students to vote

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) – Valdosta State University is on a mission to encourage college students to vote and know why it’s important.



a man and a woman standing on a sidewalk: Valdosta State University launched the “Blaze the Ballot” initiative, which will last until the end of this month.


© Provided by Albany (GA) WALB
Valdosta State University launched the “Blaze the Ballot” initiative, which will last until the end of this month.

They just launched the “Blaze the Ballot” initiative that will last until the end of this month.

“I think it’s so important because we are living in times of uncertainty. There are a lot of things surrounding the 2020 elections,” said Jalen Smith, a sophomore and student assistant with the Office of Student Diversity and Inclusion.



a group of people standing on a sidewalk: VSU is encouraging students to vote with its latest initiative.


© Provided by Albany (GA) WALB
VSU is encouraging students to vote with its latest initiative.

Smith said college students from ages 18 to 29 fall at the bottom of voter turn out.

Their goal is to change that and connect students with information about voting and letting them know their voice counts.

“For instance, people don’t understand how a candidate can win the popular vote but lose because of the electoral college. This is stuff you may have learned in civics in eighth grade. But you get to college, you kind of forget that stuff,” said Sandra Y.G. Jones, director of the Office of Student Diversity and Inclusion.

Jones said with the initiative, they hope to educate this age group. Teach them about the process, what the ballot looks like and what it’s like going to the polls. Once students understand that, they hope they’ll vote in every election.



a man and a woman standing on a sidewalk: The team encourages everyone to pass by anytime this month and “blaze” their ballot.


© Provided by Albany (GA) WALB
The team encourages everyone to pass by anytime this month and “blaze” their ballot.

“I think it’s very important for students to know how powerful their voice is, how they’re the generation that change is upon them and they must actively, civically engage to allow that change to break out,” Smith said.

Smith said they’re planning to do different activities throughout the month, calling it “Votetober.”

They will be tabling throughout October in front of the Student Union.

The team encourages everyone to pass by anytime this month and “blaze” their ballot.

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