How-to: the absentee ballot casting process

How-to%3A+the+absentee+ballot+casting+process

Mary McDonough

There is always a list of things that come with the long awaited 18th birthday: college, independence and voting. However,
college sometimes makes it hard to think about voting at your registered location. Driving eight hours on Election Day is never really an option. When it comes to absentee ballots, the process is painless.

An absentee ballot is a
ballot received through the mail for those unable to make it to their registered polling place on
Election Day and who are not registered in Marquette. The Secretary of State (SOS) urges people to get out and vote in any way they can.

Although the details are
different for each state, the overall process is the same. First, you need to download an absentee ballot request form from your SOS. Then you send the application to your local clerk at least 30 days beforehand. They will send you a
ballot to fill out including instructions on how to send it back in. And then you’re all set.

For Michigan residents, go to michigan.gov/sos. Search
“absentee,” and click the first option on the list called absentee voting. Download the PDF application. After the PDF is completely filled out with your first and last name, reason for filing an absentee ballot, and with your address, mail the
application to your area clerk. After this step is completed, the ballot should be ready and the local SOS will have
instructions of what to do next. The deadline is
Saturday, Nov. 3.

For Wisconsin residents, go to elections.wi.gov/voters/absentee where a link will be provided for PDF instructions, and the same set up will follow. Ballots must be received by Thursday, Nov. 1.

For Minnesota residents, the absentee ballot form can be found at www.sos.state.mn.us/elections-voting/other-ways-to-vote. Click on “vote by mail” and scroll to the bottom where there will be a PDF link form you can download and fill out.

Ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on Nov. 6, Election Day.

NMU student organizations such as College
Republicans, College Democrats and Students for Civic
Participation have been trying to ease the process of absentee
voting as much as possible by holding drives to help people
register.

Junior political science and economics major Rebecka Miller and president of college democrats assured that there is nothing overwhelming about an absentee ballot.

“For students to fill out
absentee voter applications [it] is super easy,” Miller said. “We’ll mail them out for
students so they don’t have to worry about it.”

The drive records show that 12 absentee ballots have been filed so far by NMU students.
“Every vote makes a
difference,” Miller said.