On Tuesday, TYPROS will be registering students to vote, encouraging registered students to vote in Tuesday’s election for a new sheriff and several Vision 2025 related items and providing information about the topics and voting procedure. There will be pizza, games and live music.
The TYPROS campaign has three main parts — registration, education and “get out the vote,” according to Daniel Regan, chair of the organization. Tuesday’s event falls into the third category. It focuses on local elections as a starting point. Here, according to Regan, people can see the most impact of their vote, since many elections are decided by a small percentage of votes.
“We don’t care how you vote, but that you vote,” said Regan of the campaign. Because many prospective voters complain about lack of information, part of TYPROS work is to provide educational material on the issues in question, without a partisan leaning.
The #provethemwrong campaign started in March 2015, as TYPROS tried to mobilize students for the school bond vote. Because this vote had such a large increase in voter turnout, the organization wanted to expand on this theory, working on more factors than just communication with members.
Regan said the larger campaign, which the TU event is a part of, began through a conference trip in September. The campaign uses peers, in the form of TYPROS and its members, to connect and communicate with young people, as well as captive audiences such as the ones at job fairs or festivals. As opposed to waiting for young people to become interested, the campaign involves targeted outreach, using places and events that might appeal to a younger demographic.
He hopes that through the success of this campaign, Tulsa can become a model for other states. “Every community is trying to get young people engaged,” he noted. If voting can “increase another 10 percent or even better,” Regan said, “it gives us a really great opportunity to showcase Tulsa in a positive light.”
Tuesday’s event is part of the soft launch of the TYPROS voting campaign. In May, before the state’s registration deadline, more events will be held.
The organization is also trying to lobby for several bills. Bill 313, passed in 2015, would allow for online voter registration. Currently, the Oklahoma State Election Board is working on such a system.
Next session, there may be a bill which would shorten registration deadlines. Another possible bill supported by the organization would allow for pre-registration. This change would allow those under 18 to be automatically registered when they came of age; pre-registration could occur while applying for a driver’s license.
Such changes might increase voter registration in Oklahoma, which, then, may change voter turnout.