How to vote as a college student

 Evan Kennemer

Features Assistant

As the November elections draw near, many college students are thinking about where and how to vote. 

Many people, especially college students neglect voting or even registering to vote, because they just don’t know how to go about it.

According to census.gov, 18 to 29 year olds have the lowest percentage of voters turning up to the polls with only approximately 45 percent of registered voters voting in the 2016 presidential election.

Each older age group (30-44, 45-64 and 65+) had around 60 to 70 percent of their registered voters vote in the 2016 presidential elections. 

While 18 to 29 year olds had the lowest percentage of active voters in the last presidential election, they are the only age group that has shown an increase in percentage of voters since 2012, while the others have steadily decreased.

According to nationalgeographic.org, the 2000 Bush v. Gore election was decided by a tight popular vote. 

After having the votes in Florida recounted, Bush won by .009 percent (537 votes) of the votes cast. 

The outcome of the Bush v. Gore election shows how every vote is important to an election’s final decision.

In today’s age, registering to vote and gathering more information about elections has never been easier. 

Voter registration paperwork is sent to each American citizen upon turning 18. 

Many people don’t fill out this paperwork upon receiving it, neglecting to register until a major election is right around the corner, such as the presidential election on Nov. 3.

To those who have yet to register in their state of permanent residence, don’t worry because there is still time to register. 

To register online, go to the state’s voter registration page.

For example, ok.gov is the website for Oklahoma residents and votetexas.gov is the website for Texas residents. 

Some states offer the option of completing the entire registration process online. Oklahoma is not one of those states.

For the states that do not provide the entire process online, citizens must follow the prompts on the website in order to fill out the form, print it off and mail it to the listed address.

While the state may not provide online registration, third-party sites such as turbovote.org provide guidance to voting in this way. 

The deadline to have registration paperwork mailed off or submitted in person is rapidly approaching with the deadline being October 5 in Texas and October 9 in Oklahoma.

After registering to vote, it’s helpful to know when and how to vote. Many college students don’t vote because they go to school outside of their home state or they are several hours from their hometown and assume they can’t make it to their polling precinct and back to school in time for class. 

But, that just isn’t the case.

College students are able to request absentee ballots through their state of permanent residence in a process similar to registering online. 

They can go online and find the state’s election board site for information how to qualify to be able to apply for an absentee ballot online or via mail-in.

Some states do not offer online registration and won’t have the absentee ballot available to fulfill completely online either, therefore one must fill it out, print it off and mail it back to the election board in order for them to process it and grant the voter an absentee ballot.

For those that live close enough to their polling location, which can be found on your voting registration card, show up to vote on Nov. 3

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