Absentee Ballots 101

Isabella Bruni, Chief Copy Editor

As the number of days until Election Day dwindle down, out-of-state students at St. John’s University are beginning to think about their options to vote. Election day is on Tuesday, Nov. 8 – the middle of the fall semester.

While 61% of students are residents of New York, according to colleges.niche.com, out-of-state students begin to face the logistics of voting from outside their home state.

California resident, Cameron Mack says, “I am not too sure if I’m going to vote yet, and I do know the options for absentee voting, but not the specifics.”

New Jersey native Sieta Leon, backs up Mack, “I don’t know how it works from out of state.”

According to colleges.niche.com, 39% of our student body is from out-of-state with the most common states of residency being California, New Jersey, Connecticut and Maryland.

In order to be a registered voter, one must first fill out a registration form and state their permanent place of residence; if not voting at home an absentee ballot is needed to vote on Election Day. Some states require reasoning for why one would be unable to vote in their home state.

The absentee ballot registration can be found on your state government’s website and must then be faxed, mailed or submitted online before its intended deadline. Not all state deadlines are the same; therefore you must check when your ballot has to be sent in to your respective state’s voting offices.

“I really do want to vote, I just don’t know how or where to register,” admits Floridian, Haydee Diaz. Diaz brings up a valid point that many other first time voters might be struggling with too – how to register.

Registering can be done on www.vote.usa.gov or even by simply typing “register to vote” into Google. An absentee ballot is the next step, which can be done similarly to regular registering.

Maryland native Ana Melchior says, “I want to vote I just need to figure out exactly how to do it from here [New York].” Melchior adds, “I think it’s really important for out of state students to figure it out because everyone has an opinion and a say in who would be a good leader for the country.”

“Regardless of where you are, I think every vote counts,” states Leon.

Only two months remain before its time to hit the polls or, for others, sending in their absentee ballots. For more information on the logistics of voting absentee, visit your state government’s website.