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Your Guide To Voting As An Out Of Stater

With such a divisive primary season in America, not to mention the 2016 election being the first time many Penn Staters will be eligible to cast a vote, it’s important to know how to properly go about getting your voice heard. We put together a how-to guide for voting in the General Election this November to hopefully help a few unregistered voters get themselves into political action.

The easy method for out-of-state students that live in State College part-time is to re-register themselves to vote in the Borough of State College. Doing so takes five minutes, and will require either your Social Security number or drivers license. For students who don’t want to re-register in Pennsylvania though, it becomes a little more complicated.

You will need to fill out an absentee ballot application, but remember to pay attention to what you’re filling out, since every state has its own application. For example, you wouldn’t want to accidentally fill out a Michigan application if you’re from California because your hometown’s municipality will throw it away.

The first step is visiting your state’s official government website and navigating to its elections page. The only catch with voting by mail is that there’s no emailing allowed since the counties that receive these applications need first-hand signatures from applicants; no electronic copies are accepted.

Although states tend to mirror processes with one another, make sure to read up on your state’s rules and deadlines before making a decision, as they can vary. Once you print and complete your state’s absentee ballot application, mail it to the municipal building of the town you’d like your vote to be counted in, and the county clerk will mail your ballots back to you.

Some of the biggest hurdles of absentee voting, however, are the deadlines. As a general rule, your application must be received seven days prior to the election so that your ballots can be mailed to you in time. As most things in life, submitting your applications as soon as possible is better. It’s no secret that government offices sometimes fall behind because of the immense workload that is processed through them.

This election will surely be remembered as a crazy one and no one wants to be the voter who didn’t exercise their constitutional right to have a say in who’s elected to the White House.

About the Author

James Turchick

James is a senior majoring in digital and print journalism, James enjoys writing about anything weird and is deadly allergic to bees. Onward State people are very nice to him.


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