Voting registration deadlines loom

Audra Gamble

With the midterm election just a scant 34 days away, it’s time to start thinking about voting, especially for college students, who are notoriously bad about getting to the polls.

For those Grand Valley State University students that aren’t registered to vote, the deadline to register in time for the November election is this upcoming Monday, Oct. 6.

However, voting can be difficult for GVSU students even if they are already registered to vote. Many GVSU students are registered to vote in their hometowns, sometimes hours away from campus.

For those who are unable to make it back to their family’s homes, requesting an absentee ballot is an alternative form of voting that may make it more convenient to participate in the democratic election.

Grace Irwin, a GVSU sophomore, will be voting in the upcoming election through absentee ballot.

“I plan on getting an absentee ballot,” Irwin said. “I am away from home, and so I am not in the precinct that I am registered to vote in. I don’t want to change the address on my drivers’ license in order to vote.”

While requesting an absentee ballot is an additional step in the voting process, Irwin feels that it is worth the effort in order to be able to vote.

“(College students’) voices do matter, and a lot of time politicians don’t take into account young people because they assume they won’t vote,” Irwin said. “(Students) should make their voices heard.”

If a student is already registered to vote, they still have a few weeks to request an absentee ballot.

According to, a request for an absentee ballot “must be received by your clerk no later than 2 p.m. the Saturday before the election.”

Absentee ballot requests must be turned in to a student’s local city clerk, and can be turned in through mail, a family member, or by the individual that is requesting the ballot.

However, some students that have recently registered to vote may not be eligible to vote through an absentee ballot.

If an individual registered to vote in person, then their first time voting may be done through an absentee ballot. But if someone registers to vote through the mail, they must vote in person during the first election that they vote in.

To request an absentee ballot, fill out the application, which can be found at, or through

For those who are still not registered to vote, they may register at any Secretary of State office, at their hometown’s clerk’s office or by mail.