Harding students continue to maneuver voting arrangements, as the general election is less than two weeks away. While voting typically has additional obstacles for college students who attend school away from home, this year’s election presents further concerns amid COVID-19 and ballot integrity challenges.
A survey conducted by Student Publications on Oct. 13 showed that — out of 141 respondents — 111 will be traveling to vote in person, and the remaining 30 plan to vote by mail.
Each state has varying deadlines and regulations for the voting process, to which students and residents must be attentive. The Trump administration ordered on Sept. 29, through the United States Postal Services, that postmasters can no longer witness Mississippi voters’ ballots, making it the only state still requiring a notary’s signature twice and nulling several thousands of votes from the election. This, in turn, means that residents must notarize their ballots before being able to mail them.
“I was unaware that President Trump tampered with the process, but I was surprised when I had to find a notary to sign my ballot,” junior Hannah Kellum, a resident of Mississippi, said.
Kellum is one of thousands that will have to find a notary to make their ballots official in this upcoming election. Despite this additional step, Kellum says she still views voting as an honor.
“I now realize that we have the power to vote for the changes we wish to see in America,” Kellum said.
Many students are experiencing the emotions of voting for the first time — a pressure previously only heard about through older generations — and for many, it is a simple call to action for the American people.
“I enjoy voting,” senior Nolan Balbin said. “I think it is a way for everyone to make their voice heard in their local communities, their state and nationally.”
Balbin is a resident of Colorado and voted in the previous election, as well. As opposed to his first experience voting, Balbin voted by mail for this election.
Senior Carter Shields is voting for the first time in the upcoming election, and he will be going to his home in Little Rock, Arkansas, to vote.
“Voting in person is a personal representation of what it means to be an American — the hopeful fact that I can go to participate in something that is good for our country and larger than myself,” Shields said.