Adulting in College: How to vote

Voting booth photo courtesy of MarketWatch. 

FARRAH GOODALL| STAFF REPORTER | fgoodall@butler.edu

Adulting is hard. While college promotes independence, it also presents challenges. Besides professional expectations and academic endeavors, college students are tasked with taxes, applying to jobs and the civic duty to vote. When students laugh and say, “I have no idea what I am doing,” they are not entirely joking.

Have no fear, The Butler Collegian is here to help with a series of informative “How to Adult” articles, starting with all you need to know about voting.

There is a lot of information a voter needs in order to be able to cast their ballot, especially while attending college. The midterm elections will take place in November for the Trump administration.

Halfway through every new president’s term, one-third of the Senate and the entire body of the House of Representatives goes up for election. These spots can be filled by re-elected or new senators and representatives. The midterms are important because they determine who will run the legislative body for the last two years of a president’s four-year term.

Eligibility: First things first, a voter must be eligible. This includes being at least 18 years of age, having U.S. citizenship and being registered to vote in the state in which the vote will be cast. The deadline to register for the upcoming elections in Indiana is Tuesday, Oct. 9. If a student is previously registered in their hometown state, they can either keep that registration and vote through an absentee ballot, or register and vote in Indiana using their campus address. Students registering for the first time should choose to use their campus address if they wish to vote in Indiana.

Registering: A student who chooses to vote in Indiana must register to vote by next Tuesday Oct. 9. This can be done online, in person or by mail. Online registrations can be done on the IN.gov website through the voter portal. Mailed registrations for Butler students should be mailed to the Marion County Voters Registration. In-person registrations can be completed at a local BMV or on campus with volunteers from the Voters Club. There will be tables outside of Starbucks today 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Thursday 12 to 5 p.m. In order to register, a voter needs a valid Indiana Driver’s license, state issued ID or the last four digits of their social security number.

Absentee ballots: Absentee ballots are used in order to allow voters to vote in their hometown elections because they will be unable to make it to the polls on election day. Absentee ballots can either be mailed in or completed in person at the Marion County Election Board Office for Butler students. The deadline for mailed in ballots is Oct. 29. The absentee forms are accessible on the IN.gov website. If a student wishes to vote in a another state, they need to follow their state’s guidelines for absentee voting. Indiana does not give absentee ballots for other states.

Victoria Combs, sophomore political science major and co-executive chair of the on-campus Voters Club, said students from out of state who are going home over fall break can vote then, too.

“Students should check to see if their state does early voting and vote over fall break, so they do not have to worry about messing up the absentee process,” Combs said.

Combs also suggested Rock the Vote as a great website with voting information.

Election Day: On Nov. 6, students can vote at Hinkle Fieldhouse from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. A government issued ID must be brought to verify identity and eligibility.  

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