Can You Vote In The State Where You Attend College? Here's What To Know
It's finally October, and while most of us are gearing up for Halloween costumes and tons of spooky fun, let's not forget that the November midterm elections will be here before we know it. Voting is more important now than ever, and it's key that everyone knows their rights and how they can make their voices heard. So, for those young voters asking: can you vote in the state where you attend college? You can, but there's a catch.
According to Best Colleges, college students can vote in the state where they're attending college only if they're registered in that state. However, if you go to school out of state, then you'll have to choose whether to be registered in your home state or college state, because you can't be registered in both areas.
So, for those who want to remain registered in their home state but still want to rock their vote, you'll have to opt for an absentee ballot. However, for those who want to switch their voter registration to their college state, make sure to go to your current registration information and update your new address. Then, make sure to register to vote in your new state and off you go to flex your rights. (But do it fast, because registration deadlines are coming up.)
For some states, the deadline to register to vote has already passed. However, the deadline to send in your absentee ballots may give voters a little bit more wiggle room to make their voices heard. Absentee ballot deadlines depend state to state, but every state requires the ballot be received by election night (Nov. 6) around 5 p.m to 8 p.m local time.
You see? Voting is not only the perfect way to make change happen long term, but it's super easy to accomplish. Despite the current controversy-laden political climate, the one good side to all of the drama is that it has opened many people's eyes to the importance of this constitutional right, because it wasn't always the case. The past few months have spurred conversations surrounding reproductive rights, immigration, and gun policy reform among young voters. However, millennials generally have had low voter turnout — less than half of millennials voted in the 2016 election, per NPR — and according to an August report from The Washington Post, there hasn't been a noticeable change in registered voters age 18-29 since February. The influence young voices can have on politics today is unparalleled, and it's important to remember that voting in the November midterm elections is everyone's way of stepping forward and doing what they see is best for their country.
Sometimes it's hard to convince individuals to vote, but luckily a certain pop icon may have swayed a few opinions. Late on Sunday, Oct. 7, Taylor Swift posted a lengthy and passionate message on Instagram urging young people to vote in the upcoming November midterms. Since she uploaded the viral message, CNBC reported that nearly 65,000 Americans between the ages of 18 to 29 registered to vote within 24 hours of Swift sharing the Instagram. Never underestimate a celebrity's influence.
No matter who or where you are, your vote counts. Not sure if you're registered? Here's what to do. And then, get out there and cast that ballot!