TYLER KEOHANE | Reporter
The U.S. midterm elections will be held on Nov. 6, yet on average, 48% of college students will exercise their right to vote, according to New York Times reporter Farah Stockman.
Low voter turnout rates among college students could be due to a lack of understanding, and complicated procedures regarding voter registration.
The midterm elections occurring on Nov. 6, will consist of voting for all of the members of the House of Representatives, one-third of U.S. senators, over 30 governors, and a handful of city mayors, according to USA.gov.
Lindenwood junior and a voter in the 2016 presidential election, Morad Saleh said, “I think most of us are too lazy, honestly. I think if we could vote on an app, like some other countries, more [college students] would vote.”
Voting in Missouri, and around the U.S., is based on residential address. Therefore, voters are referred to a local polling place such as a school or library near their home to vote. However, college students could be 45 minutes away from their polling place or could be as much as fourteen hours from their polling place.
Before students can vote, they are required to register. They are eligible to register in their home state and place an absentee ballot, or they can register to vote in the state they are attending college.
Currently, Missouri voters have the option to register online to vote. 37 other states also have an option similar to this, but the remaining 12 states do not have online registration option available to them. Voters also have the option to print out their application and mail it to the local election authority.
If a Lindenwood student is already registered to vote at their home out of state but wants to vote in the state of Missouri, they are able to change their registered address to their current address at Lindenwood. They can always change it back when they move back home. This is done through the same online application.
People who want to vote in Missouri must be registered to vote 30 days before the next scheduled election. For the upcoming midterms, voters must be registered by Oct. 10 to vote on Nov. 6. For voters planning to vote outside of Missouri, they need to check their state’s website for local deadlines.
For students planning on voting in their hometown outside of Missouri, they must place an absentee or “mail-in” ballot. To do this, students must request an absentee or mail-in ballot from the state’s election office.
Typically, voters are allowed to request an absentee ballot and register to vote at the same time. According to USA.gov, all states have different rules; voters must check with their own state’s election office.
“I don’t think college students understand how important it is to vote.” Saleh said. “We are becoming the biggest cohort. If we want change, all we got to do is vote.”
Step-by-step Saint Charles, Missouri, voter registration guide, applicable to Lindenwood students wanting to vote locally:
Visit https://s1.sos.mo.gov/votemissouri/request to register.
After registering by Oct. 10, visit https://www.sos.mo.gov/elections/goVoteMissouri/howtovote to see where the voting location is.
When going to vote, everyone is required to show a valid form of identification.