FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) -- An early voting polling location could be coming to the University of Arkansas, thanks to the efforts of students and the Associated Student Government, Young Democrats and College Republicans student groups, who met Wednesday (July 20).
In the past, students, faculty and staff of the university had to leave campus to vote in local, state and federal elections.
A recent poll conducted by the groups showed that 84 percent of students would be more likely to vote if the U of A had a voting spot on campus.
"Younger people vote more in presidential election years than in midterm years," said Victoria Maness, a member of the University of Arkansas Young Democrats. "This year poses the University of Arkansas very well to run a test trial for a permanent voting center here at the university."
Similar educational institutions around the state, including the University of Central Arkansas and Arkansas State University, already have polling locations on campus grounds.
Spencer Bone, member of the University of Arkansas College Republicans, said the 2016 elections make for a great practice run.
"We're not asking for a long-term deal, but just one chance to make this work" Bone said. "Then the commission can reevaluate the program in the future."
The Washington County Election Commission must approve the addition before a new voting site comes to campus. They will put the issue to vote at their next meeting on Monday (July 25).
Ryann Alonso, ASG director of external relations - municipal, said talks were underway with the Residents' Interhall Congress to foot the estimated $6-7,000 cost.
If implemented, the polling location would be housed in the Student Union, which is easily accessible via Razorback Transit. It would also be open to Fayetteville residents.
Polls would be opened two weeks before the election, with the exception of Saturdays. No ballots could be cast on Election Day.
"With this site on campus, it makes it quicker," said student Trevor Villines. "If we're on our way to class, we can just drop by the union, cast our vote and head on to our next class."
Another student, Kylie Ehlers, agreed and added that more young people need to participate in the voting process.
"A lot of people complain about what our government's doing and what they do wrong, but I feel like you can't complain if you're not going to do something to fix it," Ehlers said. "So voting is our only way to fix it."