By Samantha Smith
Ohio is offering mail-in voting as an option for those who are unable to get to the polls in the upcoming presidential election. Student Activities and Student Government Association offer assistance for completing the process.
Carolyn Jesko, assistant director of programming in the Student Activities office, said students need to first register to vote to receive an absentee ballot form.
“You can [register] online very easily. You go to voteohio.gov, which is the secretary of state’s website in Ohio,” she said. “You can check your registration status or update it there … you just need some specific information like your last four digits of your social security number or your driver’s license number and they kind of go into detail there.”
If anyone needs to update registration information but can’t get online to do so, Jesko said Student Activities has forms for students to update their registration status via mail.
For students that request an absentee ballot because they live on campus and away from their permanent address, Jesko said students should make sure to have the ballot mailed to campus from the county they are registered to vote in.
Jesko said the Student Activities office will have tables stationed every week leading to the election for students to ask questions, gain more knowledge on the voting process and be aware of all deadlines when voting.
“We had a table on Wednesday where we were just kind of educating students on voter registration and the deadlines and how to request their absentee ballots,” Jesko said.
Justin Shaughnessy, Student Government Association president, said SGA will also help students with voting and voter registration.
“We’re working with our vice president of public relations to do videos on how to go about that process and videos on the different options you can have as a student, as far as in-person versus mail-in versus absentee ballots,” Shaughnessy said.
He said SGA is planning to work with Student Activities, along with other resources, to help students and give them the tools they need to vote.
“We have a lot of students in the Student Government Association that have a lot of connections with the board of elections or different people that can help us get that information out,” Shaughnessy said.
He recommends first-time voters stay educated and research who they vote for.
“I think that, you know, a lot of times we hear word of mouth or hear things off of Twitter or Facebook and stuff, but I think it’s our duty as voters to make sure we know who we’re voting for,” he said.
For Ohio, the deadline to register to vote is Oct. 5. The deadline to request an absentee ballot is Oct. 31 and voting by absentee starts Oct. 6 and runs until Nov. 2.
For Pennsylvania, the deadline to register to vote is Oct. 19. The deadline to request an absentee ballot is Oct. 27 and voting by absentee starts Sept. 14 and runs until Oct. 27. In-person voting for all states is Nov. 3.