Voter registration deadline nearing

Hannah Bushon

The deadline to register to vote in the general election is Oct. 4.

As that date approaches, students across campus are wondering how they can vote far from home, or if they are even still registered. Others are just becoming acquainted with the idea of filling out a ballot.

In order to register to vote in Kentucky for the Nov. 2 election, one must be a U.S. citizen, a resident of the state for at least 28 days, and 18 years old by general election day, according to the Kentucky State Board of Elections website.

Joel Turner, assistant political science professor, stressed the importance of student voting. He said it’s part of a citizen’s civic duties.

Turner also said voting is the main way students can have a say in the government.

“Most students are not in a place to make large campaign donations, so this is a way to have a say over who your leaders are,” Turner said.

Students have a few options when it comes to registering.

A WKU student has the option to register in Warren County and vote at a designated polling station in Bowling Green, or participate in absentee voting.

A voter registration card is available on the Kentucky State Board of Elections website. It can be printed out, filled out and signed and mailed to the State Board of Elections or to the appropriate county clerk’s office.

If a student decides to register to vote in Warren County, that student votes at the polling station assigned to them. A voter can look up where their polling station is under the “Voter Information Center” tab on the website.

A student who decides to absentee vote can do so in two ways. One can absentee vote in advance on site using electronic polling machines that will be set up at all county clerk offices 12 working days before the general election, according to the website.

Students who choose to use a paper absentee ballot must mail it to the county clerk’s office within seven days of the election date, according to the website. Paper ballots being mailed in must be received by 6 p.m. on election day, when the polls must legally close.

Franklin sophomore Hilary Lee said she hasn’t thought about voting.

“I’m not even sure how to register,” she said.

But Lia Madias of Granger, Ind., said voting is the best part about turning 18.

“I’d like to get registered,” she said. “I hope I can absentee vote for Indiana.”

Turner also encouraged students to become more informed about the individuals running for offices in their hometowns.

Most candidates have websites and will appear in debates, he said. Turner also advised students to look up candidates’ voting histories.

“Is what they’re saying now matching up with how they’ve voted in the past?” Turner asked.