Despite the fevered pitch at which it seems all campaigns have been running for a year now, the election is actually coming. Soon. That also means all of the associated deadlines are coming too. I consider myself a political student, and I have been following the contests since the beginning of the Republican nomination process. I’ve also followed the debates about voter identification, but I did not realize I might be affected.
My first taste of this came when I returned from my DukeEngage project and found a new voter’s registration card on my dresser. My mom explained that Florida, my home state, had cleared the voter rolls and re-registered me. Then last week, I went online to order my absentee ballot. After filling out the online form, an error message appeared on my screen saying that my voter’s registration could not be found. I was holding my two-month-old card, and reading a message telling me I was not registered. The whole process to correct the mistake took five days, and as it turns out, I was, in fact, still registered to vote.
To be sure, Florida is not known for having a stellar electoral system, but voting laws and policies are changing throughout the country. The current climate is bad enough that my high school architecture teacher sent out an email encouraging all of his former students to vote, included relevant deadlines, and advised students to update their registrations if they have had any changes of address or names. He closed the email encouraging us to ask him any questions we may have.
In a Sept. 27 article for Towerview, it was reported that 36 percent of 18- to 30-year-old voters polled responded that they were “very excited” about voting in the upcoming election. Please visit your county’s Board of Elections website to find out about relevant deadlines. No matter how, or where, you plan to vote, vote.