Out of all of the questions answered, or danced around, during Monday nights Presidential debate, the main one for college students around the nation has to be how the new president will affect them.

The past two presidential elections are one that some of today’s college students weren’t even old enough to participate in. In the year of the early stages of twitter and Instagram, American citizens gathered at the poll and elected Barack Obama as the nation’s president.

Luckily enough, Obama was voted president the following year for his second consecutive term.

Now, in the year 2016, college students everywhere will gather to cast their ballot for the new president of the United States of America. For most college students, attending a university out of their home state is nothing new.

For some, this can present a problem when it comes time to vote in November. No fear college students, there is a wonderful option called absentee voting that can help you make sure your vote counts.

There are a few requirements for absentee voting that all students who will not be in their home county should be aware of. Voters may cast an absentee ballot if he or she:

  • Will be absent from the county on election day
  • Is ill or has a physical disability that prevents a trip to the polling place
  • Is a registered voter living outside of their county, such as a member of the armed forces, a voter employed outside the United States, a college student, or a spouse or child of such a person
  • Is an appointed election officer or poll watcher at a polling place other than his or her regular polling place
  • Works a required shift, 10-hours or more, that coincides with polling hours

To obtain an absentee ballot, write or visit the local Absentee Election Manager, request an absentee ballot, and provide the following:

  • Name and residential address (or other such information in order to verify voter registration)
  • Election for which the ballot is requested
  • Reason for absence from polls on election day
  • Party choice, if the election is a party primary. (It is not necessary to give a party choice for a general election; however, in a party primary a voter may participate in only one political party’s primary; thus a choice must be designated so that the appropriate ballot can be provided. If the voter declines or fails to designate a choice for a primary or primary runoff ballot, the absentee election manager may send only the ballot for constitutional amendments.)
  • Address to which the ballot should be mailed
  • Voter signature (If a mark is made in place of a signature, it must be witnessed)

If the absentee ballot application is approved, the Absentee Election Manager will:

  • Forward the absentee ballot by U.S. Mail, or
  • Personally hand the absentee ballot to the voter (or to a designee in the case of emergency voting)

The absentee ballot comes with three envelopes. These include one plain (the secrecy envelope), one with an affidavit, or oath, printed on the outside, and one plain envelope, preaddressed (the outer envelope). Once the voter casts the ballot, the procedure is as follows:

  • Seal the ballot in the plain envelope
  • Place the plain envelope inside the accompanying affidavit envelope
  • Seal the affidavit envelope and complete the affidavit that is on the outside of the envelope
  • Sign the affidavit and have the signature witnessed by either a notary public or two witnesses 18 years of age or older
  • Place the affidavit envelope and a COPY of voter identification inside the outer envelope
  • Remember to place a photo copy of your I.D. inside the outer envelope

Remember that your vote counts and it is important to register to vote. Presidential elections affect everyone, not only those in the United States. It is important to stay current and informed so that you can make the appropriate and educated choice when casting your vote.

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