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"92 Days": Thuringian Universities' campaign aims to mobilise students for the elections

2024 is a super election year in the three federal states of Thuringia, Brandenburg and Saxony: local elections (from 26 May), European elections (6 to 9 June) and state elections (1 September in Thuringia) are all coming up. The "92 Days" campaign, in which the University of Erfurt is also participating, would now like to call on students at all Thuringian universities to register their main place of residence in the Free State of Thuringia so that they can vote in the upcoming elections, get involved and support democracy.

On the social media channels of numerous Thuringian universities, people have been stumbling across the flickering animated message "92 days" for a few days now. However, nothing was initially revealed about the background to the "92 days". As of today, it is clear what the universities and the organisers of the campaign are aiming to achieve: they want to draw attention to the fact that you have to register your main place of residence in Thuringia in good time in order to be able to vote and have a say: namely, three months or up to 92 days before the respective election date.

"Many students have made a conscious decision to study in Thuringia, but never register in their city or municipality. We have recognised this untapped voting potential and want to address it specifically," says Burkhart von Scheven, Professor of Image-Text Conception at the Bauhaus University of Weimar, describing the approach of the campaign he developed with his colleague Professor Markus Weisbeck and former students Markus Griebl and Coco Lobinger. "Time is of the essence, as the local elections will take place on 26 May in Weimar, for example, as well as in other places in Thuringia. In order to arouse as much curiosity as possible and generate attention for the topic, we have decided to make a deadline the subject of our communication."

Because many students and employees don't realise this: To be allowed to vote in a Thuringian municipality, you not only have to be registered there on the election date, but also at least 92 days or three months beforehand. The deadline for re-registering for the local elections in Weimar on 26 May is therefore 26 February. Time is therefore pressing for all those who are not registered as primary residents in Weimar but want to have a say in how the politics of the next few years will be organised in their immediate living environment.

It is precisely this "time problem" that the communication experts have turned into a solution: the "92 Days" campaign generates awareness, educates and activates in good time – ideally not only students who want to re-register. "Alongside the posts on social media, we designed and programmed the microsite www.92tage.de, which provides further information and directs users to the registration form with just a few clicks. This can be filled out directly, printed out and signed and sent to the local authorities," von Scheven continues. There are also references to another advantage of re-registration: At many university locations, so-called training bonuses are paid to students and trainees.

The following Thuringian universities are participating in the campaign with postings on their numerous university channels and notices on their own websites: University of Applied Sciences Erfurt, University of Erfurt, Ernst Abbe University of Applied Sciences Jena, Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Nordhausen University of Applied Sciences, Schmalkalden University of Applied Sciences and the University of Music FRANZ LISZT Weimar. The platforms will also continue to feature the "92-day message" for the upcoming European elections in June and the state elections on 1 September 2024.