Photo by Mary-Grace Byers
All 50 states were represented at a table under a tent outside the Finnegan Fieldhouse from to Friday, between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Students stopped by to register to vote and apply for their absentee ballots to prepare for the upcoming election.
Senior Mary Ann Cortese and senior Mary Kettinger started the registration drive for their capstone project for Center for Leadership. They facilitated the drive to help students register to vote and to apply for absentee ballots for their state.
“It’s good that they’re doing this because it’s very easy to just forget about it with everything else that’s going on,” said junior Jon Salmonowicz, “They made (applying for the absentee ballot) a whole lot easier.”
Cortese said that previously they would only register for people to vote in Ohio, which requires students to change their residency since they go to school in Ohio. It is better for students to register for their own county in their own state.
“You’re from your home state,” she said. “Why would you vote in Ohio if you don’t live here … and you don’t know the Ohio politics? Now that everything is online, it’s (easy) to go and type in your stuff and get your ballot sent here.”
Changing residency to Ohio can affect student scholarships and federal funding.
“If you have a state scholarship or a scholarship that comes from somebody in your state … you’re not allowed to have (that) anymore because you have changed your residency,” said Cortese.
Several students appreciated the accessibility of the voter’s registration.
Freshman Christopher Hedge said, “It’s extremely convenient right here, accessible to us. I think it’s extremely important that everyone is aware. Not just (of) their presence here but to let everyone know how serious the elections are.”
Junior Elaina Brugh said, “It’s so easy. I feel like a lot of people who wouldn’t have done it are doing it because it’s so easy and so available.”
The biggest thing Cortese drove home was for students to follow up with their county after two weeks to make sure they get their ballot and to do their research for the upcoming elections.
“It’s not just checking off a ballot box. It’s actually learning who the candidate is and who you want to support,” she said.
Sept. 23 [VN1]
I put these dates here for easy reference when it’s time to put this story in layout :) [VN2]
Sept. 25 [VN3]