Students can take advantage of absentee vote

By Amando Dominick

Staff Writer

Being absent from your chores back home is no excuse to be absent from voting in the 2012 presidential election.

Students who are away from the county they are registered in can still vote in the presidential election by receiving an absentee ballot.

Citizens may also utilize absentee voting if they are sick or disabled, are 65 years old or older on Election Day or are incarcerated.

In order to participate in the upcoming election, voters must be registered to vote. Individuals who are not already registered will be unable to participate. Voter registration ended Oct. 9.

Registered voters must apply for an absentee ballot on the website for the Texas Secretary of State at http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/forms/pol-sub/5-15f.pdf.

Voters have two choices: print the application directly from the website or request that an application for a ballot be sent through the mail.

Upon receiving the ballot, the voter should fill it out and mail it to the county voting clerk in the voter’s current county before the close of polls on election day Nov. 6.

Students from other states wanting to vote in their home state through an absentee ballot can check websites such as longdistancevoter.com to see their home state’s requirements in detail.

Longdistancevoter.com, a non-profit, non-partisan website, helps voters register for absentee ballots.

Curro senior Emily Reese is participating in the election via absentee ballot.

“I’m from a small town where voting is important, so I wanted to maintain my right to vote in my city’s election,” Reese said.

Pasadena senior Whitney Williamson, said she believes its crucial for students to vote.

“When you vote, you’re influencing not only your own life but also the younger students who can’t even vote yet and will be affected too,” Williamson said.

Students registered to vote in McLennan County can contact the local election office at 254 757-5043, or check www.votetexas.gov to locate the most convenient polling place.

Early voting, which began Monday, ends Nov. 2.

Photo identification will not be required, but voters should present their voter registration card.

If a voter cannot present a voter registration card, he or she has the option of producing one of the following: a driver’s license, an alternative form of identification with the voter’s photograph, a birth certificate, United States citizenship papers, a United States passport, official mail addressed to the voter by a government entity, or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement or other government document that establishes the voter’s name and address.