The Collegian’s guide to voter registration

Indiana residents must register to vote by Oct. 11. Photo courtesy of unsplash.com.

MEGAN LINDSEY | STAFF REPORTER | mplindsey@butler.edu

Marked by dozens of yard signs and television advertisements, election season is rapidly approaching. No matter what one’s political beliefs may be, people across campus are emphasizing the need to exercise the democratic right to vote in the upcoming midterm election on Nov. 8. 

Amelia Ball, a senior international studies and political science double major, is the membership coordinator of the Peace and Politics Student Association, PPSA. The club held voter registration tabling at the campus Starbucks on Sept. 14 and 16. 

“One of the most important things [for me] is that historically, ages 18 through 29 are underrepresented groups,” Ball said. “These future leaders need to vote. We just looked at [the tabling event] as an opportunity to spread some knowledge about the importance of voting and direct students, especially freshmen … towards being able to register to vote and showing them how easy it is.” 

The goal of these voter registration tables was to help people who needed direction, particularly for those who are new to voting, but also to serve as a gentle reminder to vote, even if individuals did not approach the table.

“I think people are really willing to vote and put in the effort,” Ball said. “It’s just sometimes, maybe they need a helping hand to guide them towards a registered absentee ballot, which can be a complicated process.”

PPSA is aware that many Butler students may be first-time voters. Here’s a guide on what to expect when voting and who your choices are. 

Voter registration

If not from the states listed below, students can request an absentee ballot, or see who is on the ballot for their state, online on Vote411, an organization dedicated to providing all the necessary information for voting in a nonpartisan manner. 

Absentee voting allows individuals to vote before election day by mail or dropbox.

Junior elementary education major Katie Briner voted four years ago when California governor Newson was reelected and plans to vote absentee this year. Her parents are very active in politics which has caused her to be involved from a young age.

“I vote because politics makes me angry anyway, so I might as well voice my opinion … which is why I plan to vote absentee again in this election,” Briner said.

Indiana

Indiana does not allow same-day voter registration on election day. The deadline to register in order to vote in the 2022 election is Oct. 11. Individuals can register in person at a local county clerk’s office, by mail or online

The requirements to register in the state of Indiana are simple — one must be at least 18 years of age, be a resident of Indiana for at least 30 days prior to election day, be a U.S. citizen and have a valid Indiana photo ID.

Butler students who are not from Indiana are able to register in their home state or in Indiana. However, in order to register in Indiana, students must provide proof of Indiana residence

Those who have previously registered to vote in Indiana can check their registration online

Illinois

Requirements to vote in Illinois are the same, except that one must be a resident of Illinois for at least 30 days before Nov. 8. 

The online voter registration deadline is Oct. 23. If registering by mail, your parcel must be postmarked by Oct. 11 in order to be valid. In-person registration is possible before and on election day, Nov. 8, in the state of Illinois. 

Absentee ballots must be requested by Nov. 3 and be postmarked by Nov. 8 in order for the vote to be counted. 

Individuals can check their registration status for Illinois using the registration website.

Ohio

All forms of voter registration, including online, mail and in-person registration, have a deadline of Oct. 11. 

Individuals can check their voter registration status in Ohio online.

Absentee ballots must be requested by Nov. 5 and be postmarked to be returned by Nov. 7. 

Individuals must be a resident of Ohio for at least 30 days before the election. Same-day registration is not possible in Ohio.

Wisconsin

Online registration has a deadline of Oct. 19. If registering by mail, it must be postmarked by Oct. 19. If voting absentee, the ballot must be requested by Nov. 3 and received by Nov. 8. 

Wisconsin does allow same-day voter registration. 

People who have previously registered to vote in the state of Wisconsin can check their status on My Vote Wisconsin’s website.

Election day

Tuesday, Nov. 8 is election day this year. In Indiana, polling places will be open from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m., and polling locations can be found on the Indiana Voter Portal

The closest polling locations to Butler University’s campus will be Hinkle Fieldhouse, St. Thomas Aquinas Church and Martin Luther King Community Center.

Voters will need to bring a government-issued photo ID in order to cast their ballot. 

Seats up for election

The results of the midterm election will have significant impact on national politics. 

There are 35 United States Senate seats, 36 governorships and every seat in the U.S. House of Representatives up for election. 

Sophomore political science major Kate Rashevich registered to vote in the state of Indiana for the 2020 presidential election. 

“It matters who you vote for in bigger elections, in presidential and midterm elections, because those people are going to be influencing your votes [in future elections],” Rashevich said. “If you don’t put the right people into power, they’re not going to vote for you [in the legislature] the way that you want them to.” 

Todd Young, R-I.N., is the incumbent U.S. Senator for the state of Indiana. His opposition in this election is Thomas McDermott Jr., D-I.N..

Indiana’s 5th Congressional District includes the northside of Indianapolis, Marion, Carmel, Anderson, Noblesville, Fishers and parts of Kokomo. Incumbent Victoria Spartz, R-I.N., is being challenged by Jeannine Lee Lake, D-I.N., for the U.S. House of Representatives Seat for the 5th district. 

The 7th Congressional District represents the majority of Indianapolis, including Butler’s campus. The incumbent is André Carson, D-I.N., and Angela Grabovsky, R-I.N., is challenging him for the 7th district’s seat. 

A complete list of all the Indiana races can be found online on Ballotpedia.org. Out-of-state voters can input their address and find out their ballot online at USA.gov.

There are a number of other races that will be races to watch in this midterm election. Some of the most high-profile races in the country are Senate races in Florida, Georgia, Ohio and Wisconsin, as well as the races for the Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin governorships.

“It’s really important to keep updated on what’s going on with your state,” Rashevich said. “[You should] truly look at the platforms of the members, rather than the party.”

Rashevich said it is vital that people register to vote in these midterm elections so legislators who have the people’s interest at heart are elected.

“I know a lot of individuals think that because of the Electoral College that your vote doesn’t matter because you’re just an individual,” Rashevich said. “ … But your vote truly does mean a lot in the grand scheme of things.

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