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Voter guides not sent to UNC residence halls

While the North Carolina State Board of Elections sends out voter guides, which include information on absentee voting, to residential addresses, dorms are not included.

The Board of Elections gets the mailing list for the voter guides from the United States Postal Service, which does not count dorms as residential addresses, said spokesman Josh Lawson .

The voter guide, which is available online, includes information on absentee ballots, which would allow students on campus to vote in their hometown elections.

Lawson said information on absentee voting for students is available on the Board of Elections website.

“I think that the information is pretty widely available, and I encourage students to go on our website and on candidates’ websites to find out information,” Lawson said.

Some students said that having the information online is just as accessible to college students as it is having it mailed to their physical addresses.

UNC sophomore Casey Collins said he would prefer to look up the information online if he chooses to use an absentee ballot.

“I believe given my habits as a college student, being online all the time, I’d prefer to have it online because I think it would be a lot easier to refer back to than to have it on a piece of paper,” he said.

Meg Everist , a UNC junior, said she thinks mailing the information would be more convenient for students, but she easily found the material concerning absentee voting online.

“I think part of it is some apathy on students’ parts,” she said. “I was watching the other day a group of people hand out new voting registration cards, so people could be up to date, and a lot of people just don’t care that much or don’t have the time.”

Collins said that students with hectic schedules and who are not engaged with politics have less motivation to go through the process of voting, including finding absentee ballot information online.

Wilson Parker , who is helping lead the voter registration drive at UNC and will serve as director of state and external affairs in Student Body President Andrew Powell’s cabinet, said he knows that many students choose to vote absentee because they want to influence the elections back home.

He said that while students are facing many obstacles with the voting policies of the state, such as the abolishment of same-day registration in North Carolina, he is not sure that students wishing to use absentee ballots would have trouble finding the information given the computer skills of today’s generation.

“I think it is extremely important for students to be able to vote absentee and be informed about that,” Parker said. “The University and the state have a responsibility to make sure that students can.”

state@dailytarheel.com

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