Want to vote in the Florida primary? You need to register.

Junior Albany Muria is leading two voter registration initiatives on campus ahead of the Tuesday, Feb. 18, deadline to enroll for Florida’s presidential primary. Photo: TJ Lievonen/University of Miami
By Ashley A. Williams

Junior Albany Muria is leading two voter registration initiatives on campus ahead of the Tuesday, Feb. 18, deadline to enroll for Florida’s presidential primary. Photo: TJ Lievonen/University of Miami

Want to vote in the Florida primary? You need to register.

By Ashley A. Williams
The deadline to register for the Florida presidential primary is Tuesday, Feb. 18. One student is encouraging her peers to get involved.

While she was in the seventh grade, Albany Muria’s interest in civic engagement was piqued as she learned about government, public policies, and voting rights in her civics course.

Today, she’s a junior at the University of Miami who uses her passion for nonpartisan electoral engagement to carry out the mission of two major voter registration campaigns—Campus Election Engagement Project (CEEP) and Get Out The Vote (GOTV).

“I enjoy my duties as a CEEP fellow and GOTV student ambassador because they give me a platform to be able to engage with other campuses and learn what they are doing so we can apply it to our campus,” said Muria, a public administration major.

Muria and her peers are on a mission to register as many eligible students as possible before the deadline for the presidential election primary, which is Tuesday, Feb. 18.

“I think that voting is something that people often times take for granted,” she said. “Voting is a privilege. You’re electing people that will make a huge difference in many people’s lives.”

Muria is a returning CEEP fellow. She was initially accepted in fall 2019 and enjoyed the role so much that she reapplied for spring 2020. Once a week, she works with other  talented and passionate individuals from universities and colleges across the country via an online portal to discuss ways to inform students on their respective campuses how to register to vote, navigate them through the rules of voting in their specific state, and facilitating information to GOTV, of which she is president. CEEP provides the fellows with educational materials to distribute, such as their nonpartisan candidate guides.

“I enjoy promoting voter engagement at UM so much that I plan to make this my main priority my senior year,” said Muria, who doesn’t use any pressure tactics to get her peers to register. “I take the two seconds to explain  the importance in what we like to say, a non-aggressive, but assertive way.”

Muria and her peers’ efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. In 2018, the University and the student-led GOTV initiative successfully registered 1,051 students during the 2018 midterm election—more than double the 2014 student voter turnout rates. The accomplishment earned the University the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge Silver Seal, which is awarded to campuses with 30–39 percent voter participation.

Muria believes that it’s vital for young adults to be involved in the governmental decision-making process and is eager to support others becoming proactive citizens.

“You’re not voting for just yourself, but you’re voting for the lives of many,” said Muria.

The statewide presidential primary election is slated for Tuesday, March 17. Visit miami.edu/votefor more information about civic participation on campus.