With the 2008 U.S. presidential election just around the corner, voter registration could not be more important.
Forget paper forms and postage, though. Today’s online voter registration makes the trip to the polls an easy one.
“Harvey Mudd College encourages all of its constituents to vote during this important election season,” says HMC Dean of Students Jeanne Noda. “It’s important to voice your opinion in your home community. And the online process makes it so easy for students from around the country to do just that.”
In addition, Your Vote Your Voice, a program of the National Campus Voter Registration Project, has made a number of interactive tools available to campus organizers working to motivate their peers to get out and cast their votes.
Mudder Martin Pyne ’09—a self-described “political junkie”—knows just how important votes can be in a close election. He has been following politics intently since 2000.
In 2004, the computer science major began keeping delegate counts on his personal website, but with the quick ascendancy of John Kerry to front-runner status, “it got really boring really quickly.”
“I tend to take a fairly literal fact-based approach to campaign coverage, and was frustrated with news media coverage of primaries basing the analysis of who was leading on momentum and other intangible factors,” Pyne explains.
So, when he obtained the master list of superdelegates from both parties in August 2007, Pyne started working on the modern incarnation of goobergunch.net. By the end of the year, the website was up and ready for the early primary rush.
Visitors to Pyne’s website may be struck by its sparsity; the site is devoid of links, advertisement and any real color. Not at all intended for publicity, the site went live as a way for Pyne to keep his friends informed of updates as the primaries began over winter break.
Despite the lack of promotion and advertisement, however, at press time the site attracted 2,000 to 4,000 new visitors on most days. It also showed up in the top 10 in a relevant Google search, beating out delegate counting sites like Fox News and MSNBC.
“I was amazed to see that,” says Pyne. “I guess it’s just an indication of how poor a job Fox and MSNBC have been doing with their primary coverage, at least from a fact-based perspective.”
Pyne, who hopes to eventually revamp the site to allow visitor comments and begin covering Congressional affairs in some detail, has received tips and information from party officials, as well as kudos from educators and citizens nationwide.
It’s a reminder that a single effort can have a big impact.
So, get to the polls on Election Day—November 4, 2008—and cast your vote.