MOVE SA celebrating their registering of 1,508 people on NVRD. Ben Shirani, The Paisano.

On Sept. 26, 2017, MOVE SA went to college and high school campuses in San Antonio to register students to vote in honor of National Voter Registration Day (NVRD).

After spending the day registering students to vote, MOVE SA held an after party at Pita Pit.

“Tonight is a celebration of all the volunteers who joined us today and it is also a celebration of how many we registered,” said H. Drew Galloway, UTSA alumnus and executive director of MOVE SA.

At the after party, MOVE SA announced they registered 1,508 people to vote in San Antonio on NVRD alone.

“It is extremely rewarding for me to be able to see young students from all across San Antonio grab local government themselves and say ‘we’re going to own this, we’re going take this,’” said Galloway.

“NVRD started about five years ago. We are a part of a network called the Alliance for Youth Organizing.” said Galloway. The Alliance started NVRD as a way to get young people involved in government. As one of the seven organizations in the Alliance, MOVE SA advocates for youth involvement in government.

MOVE started out as a student organization at UTSA in 2013 when seven students came together with the goal of getting their peers involved in local government. They started registering people to vote.

MOVE is a grassroots, nonpartisan organization and is an acronym that stands for Mobilize, Organize, Vote and Empower. The organization now operates in 14 college campuses and 2 high school campuses throughout San Antonio.

MOVE SA registered 8,568 people in 2016 and over 1,000 people in the first 90 days of 2017. The organization’s efforts helped mobilize voters in the 2017 municipal election, which resulted in youth voter turnout to increase by 300 percent from the previous municipal election in 2015.

MOVE SA encourages voting across all age groups but focuses on reaching out to college students since their demographic has historically had the lowest voter turnout.

“There’s two reasons why young people don’t vote,” Galloway said. “One, (their) vote doesn’t matter; and two, voting is too hard.”

Those who work with MOVE SA want to break down the barrier between students and voting. Volunteers go to campuses to inform people about the voting and registering process and help them actually register.

“We want to tell young people ‘Find the one thing you’re passionate about and go vote for that,’” said Galloway.

Blake Lee, a freshman Public Administration major, is a MOVE SA intern who registered people to vote on NVRD.

“With registering people to vote, every single one counts,” said Lee. “[Their] voice matters, [their] voice needs to be heard.”

Taylor Dean, a junior community health major, volunteers with MOVE SA and says the work he does with the organization is rewarding.

“In the short time that I’ve been doing it, I’ve already learned a lot,” said Dean. “I’ve been able to talk to people and learn what they’re about and what people care about.”

MOVE SA encourages college students to participate in all elections including constitutional amendment, primary, midterm

 and presidential elections.

Within the next year, there will be three opportunities to vote: the Texas constitutional amendment election on Nov. 7, the primary election in March of 2018, and the midterm election in Nov. 2018.

For more information about MOVE SA, visit the website movesanantonio.org or follow the organization on social media at @MOVESanAntonio. 

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