"Hook the Vote" at The University of Texas at Austin Encourages Voter Registration for November Election

A bipartisan coalition of student organizations at The University of Texas at Austin will host "Hook the Vote 2010," a day-long, campus-wide voter registration drive Monday, Oct. 4, encouraging students and other members of the university community to vote in the upcoming election.

More than 20 student organizations with staff tables at locations across campus will participate in "Registration Round-Up" from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, said Jimmy Talarico, director of the voter registration campaign and executive director of Student Government. He said the bipartisan coalition is dedicated to engaging students in the democratic process through voter registration, education and mobilization.

Talarico said the coalition includes Student Government, University Democrats, College Republicans, Student Events Center, UT Votes, Black Students Alliance and the University Leadership Initiative. The campaign is sponsored by the University Co-op, the Sierra Club and the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Participation.

Following Registration Round-Up, Hook the Vote will host the Midnight Madness Concert and Rally from 7 p.m. to midnight on Gregory Plaza (21st and Speedway) to give students their last opportunity to register to vote. The event will include live music, food and T-shirts available for students. The free concert will feature entertainers from Austin's music scene, including The Eric Tessmer Band, Colin Gilmore and Zeale. During Midnight Madness, U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett will speak and City Councilwoman Randi Shade will read the official City of Austin proclamation declaring Oct. 4 "Hook the Vote Day" in Austin.

Hook the Vote has organized a regional voter registration contest among 11 universities, including The University of Texas at Austin, the University of Oklahoma, Texas AandM University, Texas Tech University, the University of Texas San Antonio, Texas State University, the University of North Texas, the University of Houston, Angelo State University, Texas Christian University and Southern Methodist University.

The losing schools' student government representatives will have their picture taken in the winning school's shirt to be published in the Sierra Club's national newsletter

In 2008, the Hook the Vote campaign registered more than 10,000 students to vote. This year the campaign already has distributed more than 30,000 registration cards in student residential neighborhoods and on-campus dormitories. Oct. 4 is the last day a person may register to vote in Texas for the November election.