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LSU Office Offers Free Ballot-mailing For Election

This story was written by Leslie Presnall, The Daily Reveille

LSU student Danielle Harris plans on driving three hours to her hometown Nov. 3, the night before Election Day to cast her vote for president.

Harris, like many other university students, isnt registered to vote in East Baton Rouge Parish. Others arent even registered in the state.

Ive been registered in my hometown since I was 18, Harris said. So I have to go back there to vote.

But this year, students have the option of mailing their absentee ballots through the Tiger Card Office for free.

This is a big presidential election, and we thought of trying to advertise to let students know they would have a free revenue, said Kim Roberts, University Auxiliary Services marketing coordinator.

Roberts said a student worker came up with idea to encourage students to exercise their right to vote.

Voting registration deadlines have passed, but mail-in absentee forms can be mailed through the Tiger Card Office until Nov. 3. The deadline for registering for an absentee ballot is Oct. 31.

Online forms are also available on Go Vote Absentee or the Louisiana Secretary of States Web sites.

In most states, if you havent voted in person at your polling location, you cannot absentee, said Geaux Vote officer Madeline Peters. You must go to the polls for a previous election before you can absentee [vote],

So far, the Tiger Card Office has mailed 110 voter registration cards and more than 10 absentee ballots, Roberts said.

We are lucky that options like absentee voting are available for people that cannot go to their polling location on Election Day, Peters said. Its vital for all citizens to participate in the democratic process.

Six-hundred miles separate Jessica Dowd, biological sciences and mathematics junior, from the county in which shes registered to vote. But she printed the absentee form online and mailed it to Wichita Falls County, Texas.

My county mailed me my absentee ballot, Dowd said. I couldnt imagine an easier way unless we could fill the form out over the Internet instead of mailing it.

Victoria Rosales, mass communication freshman, is also sending her absentee ballot to Texas.

Its a very easy process, she said. You just have to print out the request form and mail or fax it to the provided address.

But some students are still opting to drive home or skip class to vote on Election Day.

Tyinna Jones, business management sophomore, plans on missing class to drive to St. Mary Parish.

I think its a shame that classes are scheduled for that day when so many people wont be attending, Jones said. If we get off for Labor Day, a day to recover from a weekend of drunkenness, then why dont we get off for a presidential election day?

Kristine Paul, mass communication freshman, plans to vote in her hometown of Jeanerette instead of mailing an absentee ballot.

It isnt too convenient for us to have class on Election Day, but education comes first, Paul said. Ill be heading out for home after my afternoon classes.

Geaux Vote advised students who are unable to go home to register under their local addresses, Peters said. Students living around campus will have the ease of voting at the Louisiana School for the Deaf.

Early voting is also an option, Peters said. For students registered in East Baton Rouge Parish, they can vote at three locations from Oct. 21 to Oct. 28: the Secretary of State Archives Building, Motor Vehicle Building or the Governmental building.