Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed paid EWU a visit as part of his annual College Civics Tour Tuesday April 17, encouraging students to get more involved and registered to vote.
With a direct focus on heartening student voter registration, the event took place in Hargreaves Hall Reading Room at 3 p.m. Reed stressed the issue of young voters having the tendency to be a very “mobile population.”
In addition, he also led students in a game of jeopardy. Topics included vocabulary, government, history and geography. Though the audience was small in numbers, the participation was enormous.
“The majority of it went really well, and I really liked how both teams were really respectful and had fun as well,” said ASEWU Legislative Liaison Shelby Pelon. “And we all knew a lot so that surprised me.”
Organized by the Office of Secretary of State’s College Civics Program, Reed will have visited 45 colleges and universities by the end of this tour.
He kicked off his annual tour Monday April 9, visiting Centralia College, Clark College, Washington State University Vancouver and The Evergreen State College.
“I think it’s always beneficial … especially the more we can bring public officials to Eastern really helps get our students engaged.
A lot of times students feel kind of disconnected from Olympia just because we’re so far away. It’s really hard to feel that our vote really matters,” said ASEWU Legislative Affairs Representative Kelli Crawford. “Even if it was just a small but active group, they’ll tell their friends and so hopefully more people will be more open to it next year.”
Reed’s College Civic Tour began in 2006 and is funded by the Help America Vote Act, a United States federal law adopted in 2002 to promote voter education. This year’s tour theme is “I Will Vote.”
Reed earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science from Washington State University.
He was elected Washington’s Secretary of State in 2000 and re-elected in 2004.
As the 14th Secretary of State, Reed plans to retire when his term endsJan. 9, 2013.
“I’ve been doing it for seven years and each one is a little different. Students actually change — they change over these seven years. I’ve enjoyed it and I find it very refreshing and learn a lot,” Reed said after the event. “I just hope that they’re a little more fired up about it all, feel more connected and are going to be ready and willing to work on this.”