Absentee voting keeps out-of-state students politically involved

Feature image by Allison O'Reilly These are the final deadlines to submit a request form for an absentee ballot in each state. Some deadlines also include time deadlines which you can find on each states Board of Elections website. Make sure to mail any applications early to ensure they get there on time and you get your ballot.


Attending college out of state is difficult for students for a number of reasons; they can’t visit home as easily, minor cultural and pop culture differences, and more obscurely, staying in tune with their home state’s governmental process – specifically voting. Absentee ballots, however, are an accessible way to stay in tune with state government and necessary to cast in order to vote in the upcoming presidential election.

A lot of out of state students are taking the initiative to seek out the appropriate means to vote this November.

“I’m sending in a vote to participate in this election and have my opinion count,” senior Psychology major Molly Sullivan, from Massachusetts, said. “I know that I register online and that my vote will count toward the Massachusetts electoral college votes. I think a lot of information is going to come out between now and November (about absentee voting) but I also know a lot of information about each candidate.”

Due to the need to the extra effort needed to cast a ballot, even students that want to vote are unsure of what to do.

“I know pretty much nothing about absentee ballots. I am very unprepared for this election. I have (my ballot) but I’m going to have to figure out how to use it,” freshman undecided major Laurel Evans, from New York, said.

This very close election in particular is influencing people to take action.

“I’m sending an absentee ballot because Pennsylvania is an important swing state,” freshman Finance major Ben Schneider, from Pennsylvania, said. “If you live in a swing state then it is important to cast your vote because it matters, if you aren’t then it’s not as important.”

Another option for out of state students would be registering in Maryland instead, that choice is at the discretion of each voter.

The General Election is November 8, and deadlines for registration and absentee ballot requests vary by state. Information for casting your ballot can be found at www.eac.gov or at each states own Board Of Elections website.

“I think it is definitely important for out of state students to vote. I think they should either register to vote in the state they go to school or get an absentee ballot,” Sullivan said. “I think everyone needs to vote if they have an opinion about which way the election should go.”