Students who want to cast a vote in one the most anticipated presidential elections may not be aware that they cant just show up at the polls and expect their voice to be heard.
“Many students are turned away at the polls, they’re unprepared,” said Election Administrator Karen Chaney.
The majority of these are unregistered. Fortunately, there is a simple, cheap and quick solution to this problem. Get registered.
This process can be done almost anywhere. A potential voter needs only to visit a government office such as a federal post office or public library, request a voters registration application, fill it out, then send it in.
The requirements for registration are very general. If you’re a citizen, 17 years 10 months old and not in prison, chances are you’re eligible. In fact, the only time a voter needs an address is when obtaining an absentee ballot.
Absentee voting is a special way of casting a ballot when the voter is unable to participate at a polling location.
Basically this is a mail in vote. It is idealfor college students who legally live inone county and attend school in another, then they are still eligible to vote.
“(Absentee voting) is very easy,” said undergraduate student Debra Brown.
To obtain one, a voter simply needs to attend the county voting office or any place voter registration applications can be found and request one.
The voter needs to prove that they will be absent when polling locations are open, but that is usually very easy.
It is also intended for sick or elderly voters as well.
Early voting is another option. Most experienced voters would agree that this is the way to go.
“I prefer early voting. It makes things easier,” said sophomore music major Jack Ragland.
Early voting perks include shorter lines and the convenience of voting at any available polling location. No special registration is required and locations are published in advance.
Once a voter is properly registered and has a decision in mind, the only thing left to do is vote.
The most important things they need to bring to the polls is either a voter registration card or a Texas drivers license. Both is never a bad idea. Anything else that would berequired will be supplied.
Any question that could come up can be answered by contacting the Smith County Elections Administration for free anytime during regular business hours.
Contact information to any elections official can be found in the blue section of the phone book.