By Kelsey Corley, Student Editor of The Kayseean
2020 has been one long, inescapable nightmare and the presidential campaign has had no small part in that. Now the candidates have been chosen the race is finally nearing its end. The swarm of political ads and rampant display of campaign merchandise means that our most sacred of civil duties is once again upon us. Crowds will be gathering around polls and with them the danger of the spread of Covid-19.
So what are your options as a voter?
If you are a resident of Tennessee then your means of voting by mail are limited. Absentee ballots are only permissible with a valid excuse. Unfortunately, the global pandemic that has over 190,000 Americans does not qualify as an excuse, unless you are over the age of 65 or have underlying health conditions that would make you especially susceptible. There is still a way to avoid the crowd at the polls, however, and that is by voting early. Early voting dates run through October 14th to October 29th, with October 5th as the deadline for registration. Dates and times may vary though, so be sure to check with your local polling place here: https://www.govotetn.com/
In Virginia, absentee ballots are available to anyone. The deadline for registration is October 13th, and the deadline for an absentee ballot application is October 23rd, just eleven days before the election. You can apply online or by mail. The official ballot must be postmarked for the Election Day, November 3rd, and must be received by at least three days after the election. Early voting is also available in Virginia from September 18th to October 31st, but again be sure to check with your local polling place here: https://www.elections.virginia.gov/
For residents of any other state, college students can be registered as voters in either their home state or college state, but not both. If you are registered in your home state you may be qualified to receive an absentee ballot and vote by mail. Check out https://www.vote.org/absentee-voting-rules/ for information specific to your home state, and https://www.king.edu/about/consumer-information/voter-registration/ for more details.