U. Florida Student Using Notoriety To Promote Voter Registration

This story was written by Lyndsey Lewis, Independent Florida Alligator
Bobbing his head to Led Zeppelin tunes, University of Florida student Andrew Meyer wasn't attracting too much attention Thursday afternoon.

As he manned a table on the Reitz Union Colonnade, Meyer blared music from a portable stereo and kept close watch over a stack of voter-registration forms. Meanwhile, dozens of students shuffled by without even giving him a second glance.

Call this the new normal for Meyer, the UF telecommunication senior famous for being Tasered. After spending about two months at the center of a media maelstrom, Meyer says he's trying to downplay his status and promote more important issues -- namely, voter registration and Ron Paul.

To achieve his goals, he's launched a mini voter-registration drive on UF's campus.

Meyer has spent five days signing up new voters without the aid of Chomp the Vote, Student Government's registration drive. (The group did give him some free pens, though.)

Eyeing passers-by from his registration station on the colonnade, Meyer said he helped about 100 people sign up to vote during the first three days of his effort.

But he stressed that he's not trying to extend his 15 minutes of fame. Instead, he said, he and a friend were looking for ways to effect change.

"The apathy needs to stop," Meyer said.

So, armed with blank registration forms, he's planted himself on the colonnade to chat up voter issues to just about anyone who approaches him.

He's also been promoting Paul, his presidential candidate of choice.

Mainstream media outlets have ignored the GOP Texas congressman's message for too long, Meyer said.

"They don't want to put him on the cover of The New York Times," he said.

So this is a day in the new life of Meyer: chitchatting with students about political activism as he plays Zeppelin and Rage Against the Machine on his portable stereo.

Of course, fame doesn't always fade quickly. Although many passers-by steered clear of the registration table, Meyer admitted he'd been recognized "a couple times."
© 2007 Independent Florida Alligator via U-WIRE