With the State College Municipal Primaries conveniently scheduled for May 16 — 11 days after nearly 71 percent of the constituency leaves the borough for summer break — a large portion of the student voice will need to be heard through absentee ballots.
A strong student showing in the primary will be integral to the election of officials who determine relevant policies regarding zoning, sustainability, and student safety.
You can download your applications for an absentee ballot from the Centre County website and must submit it by 5 p.m. May 9 (the Tuesday after finals end). Then, you’ll need to send in your absentee ballot so it’s received at the Willowbank Office Building by 5 p.m. May 12 (the following Friday).
If you aren’t registered to vote in State College yet, make sure you register by April 17.
Because of State College’s closed primary, students can only vote in the primary of the party they’re registered for. Although student-friendly options like freshman Borough Council candidate Rylie Cooper and BugPAC’s endorsements Michael Black, Marina Cotarelo, Dan Murphy, and Evan Myers all seek bids on the Democrat ticket, registered Republicans can still support them by either writing in these names or changing their political affiliation, which can be changed back at any time.
New political organization BugPAC is working to increase student participation in the local election to ensure better representation by registering students to vote, providing absentee ballot forms, and explaining why it’s important for students to vote in this election.
For students who will be sticking around for work, a Maymester, or simply to avoid going home, the polling place locations will be available on the Pennsylvania Voter Services’ web site.
The future of State College lies in the students’ hands and as P. Diddy so eloquently reminds us: