Coming in loud and clear

The faces of Barack Obama and John McCain are on the cover of every newspaper, their names are on the bumpers of cars, and their signs are in yards as constant reminders for students wishing to vote. November 4 is only a month away for the 2008 general election, but not everyone is prepared nor informed.

The general election for the 44th President of the United States has an increasing number of Sam Houston State University students questioning what they can do to vote if they do not live in Walker County or are registered in a different county.

There are three types of voting options: absentee voting, early voting, and election day voting.

Absentee voting is for those who are unable to vote in the county in which they registered, such as the men and women stationed abroad in the military.

It is also for students who are attending college, but are registered in a different county.

“If you are not going to be at the place of your voter registration then you need to request an absentee ballot 30 days before election,” Dr. Tamara Waggener of the Political Science Department said.

However if you are not registered in a different county, then you can still register and vote in Walker County.

“If you are a commuting student who lives in another county, you’ll need to register in the county in which you live. If you want to register here to vote in Walker County you need to have a Walker County address, which includes campus addresses and students who live in town part time,” Stacy Ulbig, assistant professor in the Political Science Department said.

If there is no need for an absentee ballot, students and others wanting to register to vote should go to the County Registrar’s office located in the Annex building on Sam Houston Avenue across from the Donut wheel.

Some may find it more convenient to take part in early voting.

“Early voting is between October 20-31 at the Annex. Go anytime during that period and it’s the same as voting in November, but you can cast a ballot if you already know how you want to vote. Do it early, avoid the rush, and avoid the crowds,” Ulbig said.

The official Election Day voting will be held on November 4, 2008.

Precincts will be open from 7 a.m.- 7 p.m. Students on campus are to be divided in four precincts.

“On election day you have to go to your precinct polling place,” Ulbig said.

Casting a ballot is different from registering.

“It is completely anonymous when you go. You have to go in and you’ll be asked to sign in to show that you are registered. So you’ll either have to have registration card or picture id to say who you are,” Ulbig said.

Once signed in you will receive an anonymous ballot.

“Once you get that no one knows how you vote but you. You won’t be signing your name anywhere else that day. Cast your ballot and be done. It’s a real quick process and easy process, probably quicker than registering,” Ulbig said.

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