!!! Important student voter information !!!
I attended a voter registration training session this morning, and they told us something which I had not known, and which seems pretty important.
If you go to college out-of-state, and you have any scholarships or financial aid from your home state, you may lose it if you register at your college. Theoretically, you vote at your place of residence – so, if you come from NY, have NY financial aid, but go to school in Boston, if you register in Boston, you will be considered a resident of MA, and lose your NY residency. And aid. I should note here that there was a vigorous argument about whether or not this would impact your drivers’ license, etc., but they were very clear – if someone is from out-of-state, we were to give them a form and tell them to go home and double-check the terms of their financial aid, because otherwise, it could be pretty terrible for them.
Another important thing if you’re registering at college – you register by where you live, aka the location of your dorm. If your school mailboxes are all in the student center or whatever, that is NOT the address where you live. The reason for this is that different areas of campus may be in different precincts. Your precinct determines where you vote, and also your district in state and congressional races (remember, it’s not just a federal election!). I pointed out that pretty much nobody, including res life, knows the street address for dorms – this is what happened to me when I tried to change my registration at college.
Now, at this point, you may be tearing out your hair – you don’t want to lose your aid, your dorm isn’t even on a street, how can you vote?!? Well, FEAR NOT! The Election Assistance Commission has a form which you can fill out and mail in. (Or you can go to GottaVote.com, or your state League of Women Voters website, or your state’s Secretary of State website, whatever works best). Request an absentee ballot from your home state. If, for some reason, you can’t request an absentee ballot online – I don’t know the state-by-state regulations – a family member from the state can do it for you. (In some states, this includes aunts, uncles, brothers, and sisters, in case you don’t want to go through your parents for any reason). Not to plug the LWV too much, but they can help you navigate registration and getting an absentee ballot, and they are super non-partisan – it doesn’t matter if you’re a Democrat or Constitutionalist or Republican or socialist.
In thanks for reading through this, have another cutely civic picture of my dog.