It’s Called an Absentee Ballot, Asshat

Why no candidate is getting the student vote

Original Poster | Sierra Apaliski | February 18, 2016

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Oh yes it’s that time of year again! Punxsutawney Phil has called for an early spring, and everyone is prepared to watch the various award shows. Well, almost everyone.

The students at AU are a bit more concerned about the primaries of this year’s presidential race—seeing which candidates drop out next, and seeing if that will make any of the debates more interesting. If you haven’t seen a Bernie Sanders sticker yet then you’re either in the wrong place or… well, no, you’re just lost.

We may be known for being politics wonks all year round, but come the primaries, it’s kicked into overdrive. And with the number of (crazy) candidates running this year, the whole country is on the verge of major change.

The wonderful thing about being at a school with students so politically driven is all the leadership possibilities around you. Our school is nationally renowned, bringing in key speakers such as President Barack Obama, and even President John F. Kennedy back in 1963! Our own Student Government is a bigger deal to us than not having a football team. Unalienable rights flow like blood in our veins. The people are power and we are the people!

Unalienable rights flow like blood in our veins!

But with great power comes one more cliché—great responsibility. And responsibility in the hands of a college student is an enormous and necessary risk. Considering the leadership potential at this campus though, there’s one responsibility that’s lacking: voting.

Now don’t get all huffy and upset, I’m not accusing anyone of not caring, but think of the school’s demographic for a second. According to College Board, 81% of our students are from out of state. That’s a given considering the District of Columbia has no representation in Congress and you can drive across it in 40 minutes.

Students at our school may be stereotypical politics wonks, but we also fit the stereotype of lazy college students. We’ll wait to start a ten page paper until the day before it’s due, deciding to spend our time at sweaty frat parties with bad beer instead.

With that mentality in mind, we’ll also push off figuring out how the hell to obtain an absentee ballot. And let’s face it, with our demographic, that’s practically how everyone has to vote.
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So why is obtaining an absentee ballot such an issue for us? Well first, the process is different for each state, so you have to know where to look.

Second, it takes planning. No, this actually can’t be done the day before Voting Day. If you are just too busy (or just too lazy) to figure out how to get one, you’re in luck. I did some searching for you and found a handy little website called Long Distance Voter. All you have to do is choose your state and fill out some basic information and they will email you the papers to fill out with instructions on where to send it to and when to send it by. Pretty cool right? It only took me five minutes, didn’t cost any money, and I don’t have a hangover. Win-Win-Win!

The website also has information on how to register to vote (for all you newbie wonks out there!) and voter ID laws. So next time you’re procrastinating your lit review, crack open a beer and unleash your inner politics wonk! At least it’s kind of productive. Don’t be lazy, give your favorite candidate your vote!