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Rosario Dawson Visits Lehman College to Urge Students to Vote

By Jeanmarie Evelly | September 26, 2012 11:21am

BEDFORD PARK — Rosario Dawson thrilled a group of Bronx students on Tuesday night when she headlined a voter registration event at the Lehman College campus.

The "Sin City" star joined New York City schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott and Hot 97's DJ Spynfo and DJ Wallah for the event, thrown by NYC Votes!, a voter engagement campaign run by the city's Campaign Finance Board.

Organizers were on hand to answer questions about the voting process, and urged students to fill out registration forms before the general presidential election registration deadline, which is Oct. 12.

"We're really trying everything we possibly can to take excuses away from people," Dawson said. 

The actress, 33, is the chairwoman for Voto Latino, an advocacy organization that looks to empower young Latinos by engaging them in the voting process. 

"This is an incredible opportunity for American Latinos to show up and be a part of this conversation, because they're necessary for it," she said. 

On stage in a black and white polka dot shirtdress, tights and black sequined flats, Dawson charmed the crowd, paying homage to her Coney Island roots and drawing cheers from the students when she mentioned that her mom is originally from the Bronx. She asked the group not only to register to vote themselves, but to convince 15 of their friends or relatives to sign up before the deadline, too.

"Right now it seems like the only people who are participating in the vote are people who have a lot of money, a lot of people with Super PACs, a lot of interests," Dawson told the crowd. "The thing that’s most important is your voice being a part of that conversation."

According to the Campaign Finance Board, less than 20 percent of New York City voters between 18 and 28 turned out at the 2010 mid-term elections.

Natalie Carr, a Lehman College student in the school's nursing program, registered on Tuesday with a friend for the first time. 

"We're nervous, but we're confident," the 18-year-old said. "We just want to practice our rights — we know how hard people fought for this."