Parenting: Absentee College Kids

David Murphy says time is running out for your out-of-town college kids to register for an absentee ballot.
David Murphy says time is running out for your out-of-town college kids to register for an absentee ballot.
September 26, 2012 8:53:51 AM PDT
Getting a busy college student to remember to vote isn't always easy, even if they are somewhat interested in politics and current affairs. I've been through this with two college kids so far, including my eldest son who currently lives in a dorm in Washington, D.C.

One thing's for sure: unless they're planning on coming home on November 6, they will not be voting if they don't sign-up for an absentee ballot.

Below, I've included links to three sites with information on obtaining a ballot from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, courtesy of the folks at longdistancevoter.org. You can copy and paste the link in an email to your son or daughter.

Each site has a link your kid can use to verify that they are, indeed, eligible to vote via mail. Then, there's the ballot application form they download, fill-out and mail back to their home-town election officials.

Once the actual ballot is mailed to them, there's the small matter of actually filling it out and returning it. But if they've gone through all the previous steps to receive the ballot, they're probably motivated enough to see this final step through.

There are plenty of deadlines, however. Each state differs slightly, but in general, you have until mid-October to apply. Ballots are due back by the Friday before the election (that's November 2 this year). Late ballots get tossed, so tell your kids not to dawdle.

And by the way, if they haven't gotten around to registering, you can also begin that process through these links, but the deadline is coming-up pretty quickly. In Pennsylvania, for example, it's October 9.

Pennsylvania absentee ballot and voter registration information

New Jersey absentee ballot and voter registration information

Delaware absentee ballot and voter registration information

Happy voting!

---David Murphy

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