• By Nina Arias

Voting methods

Graphic courtesy of Pixabay

Election season is upon us and every vote counts. For some, this may be the first time they’ve been able to vote and will still need to register. While registering is a quick and straightforward process, some are tasked with requesting an absentee or mail-in ballot.

First, to register to vote one must go to the official voting website and fill out a form to become registered. The process is quick and easy; once done, the recipient will be given three options for their voting preference. The first possibility is to appear in person at their designated voting station on the day at their allotted time. The second way is an absentee ballot, which can be mailed in. Lastly, the voter can choose a mail-in ballot, where the recipient receives their voting materials ahead of the election to send before the due date.

A crucial part of the voting population this year is Gen-Z, who previously were unable to vote because of their age. Voting for the first time can be scary if you do not know the differences between the ballots. An absentee ballot is an application which is sent by mail, typically when a person can’t physically be present at a voting center on election day. To receive an absentee ballot a registered voter must request one through the state government. A mail-in ballot is usually for people who are not in their residential state but would still like to vote for their state or the state they are currently a resident of. The ballot is sent to the voter’s registered address before election day to be mailed back or dropped off at the voting station before Election Day.

Registering early is crucial in order to send the voting materials to you in time. However, certain states allow you to register as late as the day of election. The process can only be conducted in person and requires an identification card as well as proof of residence. There are certain states that automatically register you if you are an eligible resident of the state you are in.

Some schools are encouraging voting by helping students’ resister on campus as well as educate them. Minot State University’s Democratic club put posters up around campus with QR codes that lead to more information on how to vote. Voters can also visit vote.org for information.

Whether you are voting for the first time or the third time, your voice matters. If you have yet to register, hopefully these tips can help you. Remember to check your polling station if you choose to vote in person and do your research to be the most informed before selecting a candidate.

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