Students at the campus are engaged in the state's ballot questions, particularly those pertaining to same-sex marriage, in-state tuition for immigrants brought to this country illegally as children, and expanded gambling.

"Enthusiasm is building, and not just around the presidential race," said Ketl. "That's really encouraging, because it means that they're not just paying attention to the top headlines, but they're also paying attention to other issues in Maryland."

Agazzi said the College Republicans voted to not support the Dream Act, which would enable illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition, but has not taken a stance on same-sex marriage.

"We're kind of split on that," she said.

Early adulthood is a key time to draw citizens into the political process, Ketl said.

"If we can get people into the habit of good citizenship when they're young, they will continue it when they get older," he said.

Agazzi said even though most College Park students skew liberal, she's glad to see the general enthusiasm on campus for voting in the coming election.

"I would rather have someone register to vote and show what they believe in than sitting by the sidelines," Agazzi said. "What's the point of being a citizen in our country if you can't use your most important right — the right to vote?"

Registering to vote

Tuesday, Oct. 16, is the deadline to register to vote in Maryland. You can register online or download a registration form at To register online, you must have a Maryland driver's license or a state-issued ID.

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  • AAn earlier version of this article misspelled Don Kettl's name. The Baltimore Sun regrets the error.