OPINION: Advance voting is a college student’s friend this election

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Students register to vote for the 2016 presidential election on March 21, 2016. (File Photo by Austin Fuller | The Collegian)

An estimated 146,311,000 Americans are registered to vote, according to a 2016 report by Statistic Brain. That can easily spell chaos for anyone planning to vote on November 8th.

Long hours and even longer lines are nothing new to this election. The primaries in Arizona had difficulty in particular; AZ Central reported polling sites were overwhelmed with people, one site in Phoenix even ran out of ballots. Many in the area struggled to find parking and navigate the long lines by the 7 p.m. cut-off time.

Now, keep in mind, these were the primaries, so one can assume that the states have learned from this event, and are perhaps better prepared for the crowds sure to arrive in a few weeks.

But why take a chance? College students have busy enough schedules as is, trying to make it to the polling site in time could prove to be challenging no matter how dedicated of a voter you are.

That’s why advance voting is the perfect solution for college students. It’s incredibly easy to do, and with the election weeks away, something they’ll have time to take care of.

The process is very straightforward; visit the Riley County’s website and click on the link to fill out the advance voter application form under “Advanced Voting.” If you’re not registered in Riley County and don’t think you can make the drive home, you can request an advance mail ballot from your area by visiting the Kansas Secretary of State website. Both forms are very quick and easy to fill out. Just make sure you have your driver’s license handy and fill everything out by October 18th.

But, let’s say you don’t even have time to fill out and mail in a form. You’re the definition of an overwhelmed college student; taking way too many classes, over-involved in extra circulars, and working who knows how many jobs to make it all work. You need to be able to get in, vote, and be on your merry way. There’s a solution for you, too!

Rich Vargo, County Clerk, said Kansas State would be hosting early voting beginning Wednesday, Oct. 19 until November 4th in the Bluemont Room of the Student Union. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, with Monday, Nov. 7 open from 10 a.m. to noon.

Having an on-campus voting option gives university students incredible flexibility to vote on a schedule that works for them, and we all should take advantage of this opportunity. After all, who wants to be stuck in line for hours and hours?

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