The midterm election is coming up on Tuesday, Nov. 6. With that being said, it is important for students and citizens alike to exercise their right to vote. Voting is an important act, therefore students should be inclined to do so.
Polling stations in New Jersey will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. to ensure that citizens have an ample amount of time to cast their votes. One can find out their designated polling station using the State of New Jersey Department of State's website to find out where the polling stations are located.
The only requirements for voting in the state of New Jersey are to be over the age of 18, be a U.S. citizen and be a resident in one's NJ county at least 30 days prior to the election. Additionally, one cannot be incarcerated, on parole or on probation or else they will not be able to vote.
There are a few important deadlines that one should note about the upcoming election. Firstly, the deadline to register to vote was Oct. 16. If one is unsure whether or not they are registered to vote, they can check on the same New Jersey Department of State website to ensure that they are. Additionally, the deadline to request an absentee ballot is Nov. 5 at 3 p.m. The deadline to return the absentee ballot is Nov. 6 at 8 p.m.
For students that reside at Kean or in the surrounding area that are out-of-state residents, they can request an absentee ballot for their state. For students that live in NJ but are far from their home, they can use their school address to register to vote, or one could go back home to vote.
It is important to remember that one can only be registered at one location to be able to vote. Also, one must be a resident for 30 days prior to the election.
Additionally, it is important to note that if one uses their school address to register to vote, it will not affect one's federal financial aid, dependency status for the FAFSA, dependency status for one's parents taxes or one's out-of-state tuition. It is also important to note that if one has changed their name or address recently, they should follow the proper guidelines in changing it to ensure they can vote.
For many students, it may be their first time voting. If one did not provide identification to the county commissioner of registration or if the identification information could not be verified (i.e., a driver's license number or the last four digits of a social security number), Voters may be asked to show identification at the polling place. It is recommended that first-time voters bring photo identification just in case it is needed to ensure that one can cast a vote.
Student Trustee Kristen Failla said, "Politics, especially locally, affects college students more than we anticipate. College students have so many opinions that it is important to exercise that opinion through the process of voting.”
Ultimately, it is important to exercise the right to vote in this year's midterm election. For many students at Kean this will be a new learning experience since they have never had the opportunity to vote.
Additionally, it is important to know who one is voting for and the policies they support, so make sure to do research before casting a vote.