Absentee ballots offer students an easy vote

Students can kiss the frustrations of long lines goodbye in this semester’s Student Government Association Spring Elections.

With elections just a few weeks away, students will have the choice of voting via absentee ballot.

“We’re giving students this option in order to avoid the long lines,” said Electoral Commissioner John Polk, 23, a senior accounting student from Fairfield, Calif. “Not only do we want to eliminate the long lines, this will be a good way to encourage students to come out and vote.”

On Friday, representatives from the electoral commission will be on the Set from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. passing out requests for absentee ballots. Students must bring their Rattler Cards in order to fill out a request. They will have up to 10 days before the elections, which take place Tuesday, March 2, to request an absentee ballot.

Crystal Moore, 20, a sophomore business administration student from Tallahassee and precinct supervisor said the electoral commission hopes to inform students about absentee ballots, an option that she said is mandated in the election codes but has not been publicized.

“[ absentee ballots] have been in place for a long time, but not too many students know about it,” Moore said. “Last year, no one voted absentee ballot.

“This year, our goal is to get 200 votes through absentee ballot.”

In the past, students have complained about the hassle of waiting in line, and the low amount of help available during the voting process. Most students, who try to vote between classes, make several trips to the voting booths or end up not voting at all so they are not late for class.

“The lines are usually long in the pharmacy building because you have

students from allied health and nursing voting there,” said Gabrielle Sisco, 22, a senior pharmacy student from Atlanta. “I would probably be in line for 15 to 20 minutes, which was not feasible because I would go between classes.”

Despite line inconveniences, Sisco said she realized the importance of voting, and came back at a later time of the day.

“If I was held up, I’d just come back to vote later,” she said. “It wasn’t very convenient, but I’d still come back.”

Moore said the absentee ballots will give the electoral commission more time to set up for those who chose to vote in person, and will make the process flow with ease. It would especially target students who are away on internships or those who are unable to come to campus the day of elections.

“We just want to be prepared and want to accommodate everybody,” she said.

Polk agreed.

“We’re just trying to make everything as convenient as possible.”

Contact Deanna L. Carpenter at deannalynette@hotmail.com.