By LINDSEY IORG and BOUBACAR BARRY
The November elections are nearing, and whether a Utah local or an out of state resident, students can register to vote in their home state with just a few clicks on the Internet.
Organizations such as Rock the Vote or MTV’s Choose or Lose offer online voter registration forms for each state. Once the registration forms are filled with voter information, the user then prints the forms and mails them to the county elections address provided by the Web site. The online registration method is foolproof and offers a quick, accurate, guided completion, requiring virtually no effort. After the voter registration form is submitted, the county clerk mails a registration confirmation card to the applicant.
In Utah, residents have until Oct. 13 to register by mail and Oct. 25 to register in person at the their county clerk’s office. Eligible Utah voters must be a United States citizen, at least 18-years-old, able to show proof of Utah residence at least 30 days prior to the next election and cannot be a convicted felon currently incarcerated for commission of a felony.
Amy Naccarato, director for the Utah State Elections Office, said out of state BYU students should register wherever they consider their place of residence
“[Students] need to get in touch with the elections office in their state,” Naccarato said. “Most [states] have Web sites with information regarding absentee ballots.”
With students from all 50 states, many BYU students will be voting using absentee ballots. Students must first register to vote in their home state and then request an absentee ballot.
Each state has a separate elections office providing state registration requirements and absentee request forms. On the California State Elections Web site, registered voters may apply for an absentee ballot, by printing an absentee ballot request form and mailing it between Oct. 4 and Oct 26.
Requesting an absentee ballot is easy but there are a few pitfalls to avoid.
“A big concern is making sure people understand the deadline,” said Naccarato. “If they maintain their residence in another place, they need to vote in their place of residence. If they intend to move here or stay in Utah, they can register here.”
Sometimes the requests are not processed because of bad handwriting said Katie Joseph, a data entry clerk with the Utah County Clerk’s Office.
The absentee ballot will come with a packet explaining how it should be completed and the due date. The due date varies from state to state. In Utah, the ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 1.
“Get out and vote,” said Naccarato. “There is no reason not to. There is plenty of time. It’s very easy. Get out and vote.”