If you’re like me, this lengthy campaign season and prolonged election cycle has seriously taken its toll. While political burnout might seem easier to succumb to than it has in the past, this year has also helped many of us realize political and civic engagement can be more rewarding than we previously imagined. With the 2020 election displaying record voter turnout, particularly among young voters, students may feel inspired to continue their political engagement.
Staying involved in civic processes is not a one-size-fits-all. There are a vast number of ways students can remain engaged outside of voting, from formal classroom education to extracurricular peer-led discussions. In recent years, including this one, the University of Delaware has been named a top school for the Student Voting Honor Roll, which not only demonstrates that our student body remains civically engaged, but also indicates that there are a number of on-campus offerings that foster a supportive environment for political awareness.
While the 2020 presidential election may be over, there are still plenty of other opportunities for students to get involved with politics outside of casting ballots. If you feel civic engagement has been a transformative experience for you and would like to spend time encouraging fellow students to join in the democratic process, then you should check out Make It Count. If you’re interested in finding ways to have safe and productive political discussions or to learn more about political issues, Let’s Talk is another RSO to try. Both of these RSOs are non-partisan, but more ideology-specific RSOs are available as well, including the College Democrats and College Republicans, among others. Continue reading
Another semester and a new academic year at the UD Honors College! While Fall 2020 means another round of homework, midterms, and finals, it also means one more thing: the general election. Back in spring I was able to watch debates and Super Tuesday results in Redding’s main lounge, and though I’m not able to do that on-campus this semester, there’s still many important things we can do. That spring I wrote an article about absentee voting, which was not-so-conveniently written immediately following COVID-19’s sending us off campus. Now that we’ve gone several months through these restrictions and that a major election is upcoming, more options are available to voters.
In my previous article, I focused heavily on voting by mail and voter registration. For college students, especially those out-of-state and living on or around campus, voting by mail is the likely option for many. Rules involving absentee mail-in ballots vary by state, so websites such as https://www.vote.org/absentee-voting-rules/ can help in pinpointing what is required in your individual state. I took part in Philly’s mayoral and city council elections last November, and I did so by voting by mail on campus! The directions were all laid out in my ballot, including how to seal it properly and how to make sure it gets mailed off. The former is especially important here in Pennsylvania, where rules require you to place your ballot inside of a provided blank envelope and then into a second envelope from there. Many states also allow you to track your mail-in ballot online, so you can make doubly sure that it gets mailed in time. https://www.vote.org/absentee-ballot-deadlines/ is a great resource for finding when your ballot is due to be mailed by, and many states even allow you to drop off an absentee ballot at a county election office. Continue reading