Students Have a Right to Vote

When students attain the legal age to vote, it is their right to vote. That is because they deserve leaders that can look after their rights. Leaders that can present and solve their grievances. In this article, we are going to take a look at the voting process for new voters in the U.S.

Students Have a Right to Vote

Register as a Voter

The very first step is to register to vote. Depending on the state that a person is from, the requirements might vary. This is because voter registration is not managed by the federal government. In most of the states, people can register as voters online, in person or by filling a form as long as they are qualified and meet the registration deadline. In the event that a voter is not in the state that they registered in at the time of voting, they can complete a Federal Postcard Application so that they can vote in absentia.

Research Political Parties and Candidates

It is good to always be informed if one is going to make the right decision while selecting the right candidates. Many uninformed voters rely on political propaganda and media coverage to make their decisions, and that isn’t always the best. It is good to be informed so as to make knowledgeable decisions.

Knowledgeable of Issues

It is important for the students to know the issues at stake. Whether it is a presidential or city council elections, the visions of the leaders are always the same and in most cases, can be found on their websites. It is important for new voters to review then information and gauge it against their own beliefs on the functioning of the government.

Check State Rules and Regulations

On the voting day, many of the voting centers are open at least 12 hours. This is a flexible period for students, giving them ample time to vote. Although only 35 of the American states require voters to show a photo ID, first time voters that registered by mail have other requirements. According to the federal law, all people that have never voted before are required to bring along a valid photo ID, utility bill, pay stub or a government document showing their names and current address.

Locate the Polling Place

Students that are not sure where to vote should contact their election office to find out. The State election office is the one that assigns the polling stations based on where the voters are based.

Vote

States now use electronic voting systems, either optical scanning or touch screens on election day. It is important for students to be knowledgeable of the voting system that their state or place uses. Voters may not have to vote for every office on the ballot, and are also allowed a write-in if the candidate of their choosing is not on the official ballot.

The Importance of High School and College Students

The majority of the voters are students, with the median age in 2011 being 27 according to data from the Digest of Education. Despite that, the census shows that voters between 18 and 29 are the ones that are least likely to vote. This is because they are younger and considered the next generation of voters, carrying a different perspective from the older people. It is important for students to vote because some of the issues to be tackled, such as college tuition, healthcare, minimum wage regulations and climate change could affect them.

National Rights and Rules

  • Age Requirements

All voters in national elections must be 18 at the time of the election. Some states allow individuals who are 17 to vote in the primaries, provided they will be 18 when the general election takes place.

  • Disability Assistance

According to federal provisions, individuals who are visually impaired, unable to read or write, or affected by another disability are allowed to bring someone to provide assistance while casting their vote. A few states also provide curbside voting for voters who can’t easily leave their vehicles.

  • Help for First-Time Voters, Others

Individuals may feel a bit nervous the first time they step into the polling station, but federal law allows poll workers to offer extra assistance to these voters. Voters are also allowed to ask for help if their polling station has installed new equipment since the last time they went to the polls.

More information can be found here. In the meantime, there are various bodies that monitor the elections and the candidates such as Philadelphia 3.0.

Philadelphia 3.0 Agenda

  1. Hold candidates and elected officials accountable for the promises they make, the policies they pledge to implement and the duties they swear to perform.
  2. Report on important political news from City Hall and Harrisburg. Philly Set Go will make sure it is at every important political event, from mayoral debates to City Council meetings.
  3. Advocate for millennials in local and state government to make sure our interests are protected and advanced.
  4. Support millennial aged candidates that champion the issues we care about. These candidates need our support and millennial interests will not be fully represented until millennials win elections.
  5. Get out the vote. Voting is still the most powerful tool in a citizen’s arsenal.

With this information, students that are new voters can now do ahead and vote without the slightest worry. Just make sure that the candidates that you vote for as well researched and are in the same think line as the voter. Voting is one of the most powerful tools that a citizen possesses because it can be the key to better change.

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