Voting 101

Jacquelyn Steoss

re you in favor of amending the Kentucky Constitution to provide that only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be a marriage in Kentucky, and that a legal status identical to or similar to marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized?”

Deputy Warren County Clerk Mallie Schultz expects this amendment to the Kentucky Constitution to attract many voters to the polls.

While many students have already registered to vote, Schultz said she’s unsure whether the presidential race or the constitutional amendment will attract more students to the polls.

But time is running out for students who wish to vote in the Nov. 2 presidential election. The deadline to register to vote in Kentucky is Oct. 4.

Students who have not yet registered to vote can apply in person at the old Warren County courthouse on 10th Street or download a voter registration card from kyelect.com.

To register, the voter must sign a document stating he or she is a United States citizen, not a convicted felon, 18-years-old and a resident of the county he or she is registering in.

While Western students are granted a day free of classes to cast their votes, those who’d rather stay in town instead of driving to their assigned precincts can apply for absentee ballots or register with their school address as a Warren County voter.

Any voter who wishes to use an absentee ballot must complete an application for a ballot to be mailed to his or her school address. Students will mark that they are residing outside of their counties, include the city and state they will be located on election day and include their campus mailing addresses.

Schultz said there are 60 precincts in Warren County with more then 56,000 registered voters. She recommends students visit kyelect.com to print a voter registration card and visit the site’s voting information center, which allows voters to access their registration information online. The site will generate a registered voter’s address, the location of their polling place and the contact information for their county clerk’s office where they can request an absentee ballot application.

Oct. 26 is the last day that county clerk offices can accept absentee ballot applications. Absentee ballots cannot be hand-delivered and must be mailed to clerk offices by election day, Schultz said.

Several voter registration drives at Western have increased the amount of voter registration cards that began pouring into the county clerk’s office, she said.

The next voter registration event at Western is “Rock the Vote”, scheduled 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 16 on DUC south lawn.

Faculty sponsor Molly Kerby said there will be plenty of free food and drinks at the event, as well as live music. The main point of the event is to encourage voter registration because youth are under-represented in elections, she said.

“For a lot of kids, it will be their first time to vote,” she said. “If they vote that first time and feel good about it, they’ll vote again.”

It’s a busy time of year for the clerk’s office. Workers constantly answer voter registration questions, Schultz said, which led the state to launch kyelect.com. Several full-time workers are preparing for the election to ensure that machines are set correctly and that voters are assigned correct polling places.

“A lot of work goes into this,” she said. “You wouldn’t think so, but it does.”

Reach Jacquelyn Steoss at [email protected]