Opinion: Every vote counts

Jennifer Hutchinson is a sophomore political science major and a columnist for The Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].

Jennifer Hutchinson

As college students, we always have a million and one things on our mind. It’s easy for us to get caught up in our classes, clubs, jobs, and, of course, our daily Netflix intake. However, even with our busy schedules, we can’t let that get in the way of us taking part in this year’s upcoming election.

While we’re constantly hearing that it’s our future on the ballot, it’s alarming that it seems our age group has the greatest voter apathy. With Ohio being such a critical swing state, while also being one of the best for voting accessibility, I don’t know why anyone would sit back and not cast their vote.

However, I have found that along with passive attitudes toward voting, there’s also a lack of knowledge about the voting process. Well, don’t worry Kent Staters, because I’m here to bring that information to you.

Secretary of State Jon Husted, along with the rest of Ohio, has offered more options and accessibility for voting than ever before. Your first option as a voter is to vote by mail. If you are registered to vote in Ohio, you should have received an application in the mail after Labor Day. All you have to do is complete it, return it in the envelope provided and your ballot will be mailed to you starting 28 days before the election. Then, when it is most convenient for you, you can fill out your ballot.

Another option, beginning Oct. 7, is to go to your local board of elections during regular business hours to cast your ballot in person. To accommodate voters who cannot go during the week, your board of elections will also be open for voting from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the two Saturdays before the Election.

Your third option is to go on Nov. 4, Election Day, where polls near you will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Ohio is one of the nation’s leaders in voter accessibility. Ohio has provided an early voting option, as opposed to its surrounding states that did not. It also, excluding states that vote exclusively by mail, is the only state to send out absentee ballots. You can find all of this information and more at the Ohio Secretary of State’s website, as well as www.MyOhioVote.com. As you see Kent Staters, voter participation is glaring at you right in the face. I encourage you to glare right back and take advantage of the options that have been made available to you. Keep in mind when you say, “Hey, someone should do something about that,” you’re that someone.