University of Florida sophomore Kara Ramos came into Pugh Hall to study Tuesday and, with a few clicks, ended up registering to vote in Alachua County.
She took advantage of TurboVote, a website described as the election equivalent of the online DVD service Netflix. The site allows users to register to vote, request an absentee ballot and get email and text-message reminders about key deadlines.
"We're hoping that by making it easier, people won't leave their vote at home," said Shelby Taylor, spokeswoman for UF's Bob Graham Center for Public Service, which has partnered with TurboVote.
Students with the Gator Coalition for Civic Engagement ran a booth Tuesday at the center's Pugh Hall home, allowing people to use tablet computers to sign up for the service. The effort coincided with National Voter Registration Day.
Nearly 2,800 people at UF had signed up to use TurboVote as of Tuesday afternoon. Two-thirds of those voters were born between 1991 and 1994.
Developed at Harvard University, TurboVote walks voters through an automated process that includes allowing them to get an absentee request sent to their homes. Voters can sign up for reminders about returning the request and other key deadlines.
For Ramos, a 19-year-old biology major, the idea of getting text reminders was an appealing part of the service.
"It's one of the more reliable ways (to reach me) because I always have my phone on me," she said. Read More