How Do College Students Vote?

In this column, you ask questions, and Patch finds the answers.

We received a question from a Patcher who wants to know how college students can vote in November's election. Here's what we found out:

Q: I was just reading the voters guide. This is the first year my daughter can vote. I was wondering what is the procedure for the kids who are away at college? How do they vote?

A: Your college student would vote by absentee ballot. If she lives in Wellesley, she (or you) should contact the Wellesley Town Clerk's office in writing (see below) to have an absentee ballot sent to her. If she has officially changed her address to that of her college address, she should contact the Town Clerk in that town. 

Here is what we found on the Wellesley town website:

How to vote by an Absentee Ballot

Obtaining an Application for an Absentee Ballot

Applications for absentee ballots may be obtained from the Town Clerk or the Office of the Secretary of State. Applications may be submitted in person or by mail. The voter, or a family member (father, mother, sister, brother, son, daughter, grandparent, grandchild, a spouse or person residing in the same household, in-laws, adopting parent or adopted child, stepparent or stepchild, aunt, uncle, niece or nephew), may submit an application. All applications must be signed under the pains and penalties of perjury by the voter, or a family member, before a ballot will be made available. State law requires that we must have a signature of the applicant on file with the request.In a primary election, a voter who is not registered in a political party must specify the ballot of the party of choice in the application. You will not become registered in a political party because of your participation in a state primary.The following absentee ballot application can be used for any state or local election.Absentee Ballot Applications Form

Returning the Application for an Absentee Ballot

Applications for absentee ballots must be received by the Town Clerk before NOON the day before an election. (A voter who is admitted to a health care facility after noon of the fifth day before an election may apply for a ballot up until the close of the polls and may request to have the ballot delivered.) Absentee ballots generally are available three weeks before an election.If the voter submits the application in person, he may obtain the ballot and vote over-the-counter (check with the office to see if the ballots are available). If the ballot is not available, it will be sent to the voter by mail. When the application is submitted in person by a family member, the ballot must be sent by mail to the voter. In all other cases, the ballot is sent by mail.A list of all voters who obtained absentee ballots is sent to the poll locations to prevent an absentee voter from voting a second time.


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