With the 2022 midterm election just over a month away, voters across the country are making plans to vote on Nov. 8. This will be the first time many college students cast a ballot.
Some suggest that young adults have become disillusioned with voting. Emily Veenstra, Civic Engagement Assistant Area Manager, suggests it is due to recent events such as the overturning of Roe v. Wade in June.
“I think a lot of people are discouraged right now because of things that we’ve recently seen in the political aspect of things,” Veenstra said.
According to the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) only 65% of voters ages 18-21 voted in the 2020 election. Meanwhile, 82% of voters ages 40-49 and 86% of voters ages 50+ voted.
“[People ages 50+] are making the decisions about what impacts you young people,” Assistant Vice Chancellor in the Office of Community Engagement, Jennifer Boehm said. “If you’re not voting, other people are making the decisions about who should be in office.”
Additionally, first-time voters face obstacles and learning curves. College students in particular face a unique set of challenges when it comes to casting their vote.
Students who live outside of the county they’re registered to vote in may not be able to travel home to vote in person, and are unable to vote in a different county. Voting by mail presents its own set of challenges, as it requires planning several weeks in advance and it can be difficult to remember all the deadlines and procedures.
Additionally, students may not have the time to research the candidates on their ballots. Luckily, there are many resources on IUPUI’s campus dedicated to making voting more accessible to students.
IUPUI is holding voter registration events in the Campus Center Atrium on Oct. 6 from 2 to 4 p.m. and Oct. 10 from noon to 2 p.m.
In order to register at these events, students will need to bring a form of ID such as an Indiana driver’s license, another state-issued ID, a military ID, or a U.S. Passport.
Prospective voters can also register to vote completely online by visiting the Indiana voter portal. If a student is unsure if they’re registered to vote, they can also check their voter registration status on the same website. The last day for Indiana residents to register to vote is Oct. 11.
For the first time, Marion County voters will be able to cast their general election ballots on Nov. 8 in the University Library on campus as well as other polling locations in Marion County.
Students who are not registered in Marion County, however, will have to cast their ballots by mail if they are unable to travel to their home county either on Election Day or during the early voting period which is Oct. 12 to Nov. 7.
Voters who want to vote early in Marion county can attend March to the Polls on Oct. 26 at 12:30 p.m. in Taylor Courtyard.
To find polling locations in other counties, voters can visit the Indiana voter portal and select “Find Your Polling Place.”
Voters can request an absentee ballot through the Indiana voter portal. The request for an absentee ballot must be submitted by Oct. 27 at 11:59 p.m.
A seat in the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives is on the ballot in every district for Indiana residents in this election.
Voters have a chance to elect members they believe will legislate in a way that aligns with their beliefs. Several districts also have candidates for school boards, municipal government, and intermediate appellate courts on the ballot.