As 2022 nears its end, midterm elections approach. The deadline to register to vote in-person has passed, but there are still options to vote before General Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 8. With the election underway in under a month, there are many things that voters can be aware of regarding the voting process.
According to University of Indianapolis Associate Professor of Political Science Laura Merrifield Wilson, students can register to vote in Indiana regardless if their permanent residence is out of state or not. Students are also able to request an absentee ballot, which is also known as voting by mail. Absentee ballots are an option for people who do not want to change the state they are registered to vote in. To request an absentee ballot, voters must fill out the Application for Absentee Ballot (ABS-Mail), located on the State of Indiana’s website.
“I’d encourage people to go to their Secretary of State’s website for their particular state, because that’s the person in charge of elections for the state,” Wilson said. “That would give all the deadlines, the forms and the process.”
In Indiana, several national, state and local positions are up for election, according to Ballotpedia. With numerous offices open, Hoosiers may have more things to consider before casting their votes. Several current issues may affect college students, especially, according to Wilson.
“Most importantly, [there is] the college loan forgiveness policy just came about this past year under President Biden,” Wilson said. “[Also], in Indiana, they passed an abortion law over a special summer session that essentially outlawed [the procedure]. There’s since been a court injunction, so at the moment, it is still legal. So, understanding that [current, debated issues] will still play out in the court system [is]an important [thing] for college students [to understand], too.”
UIndy Assistant Professor of Communication Stephanie Wideman said voters should be aware of misinformation, especially concerning election results. Conspiracy theories serve to disturb the process of democracy, she said.
“[The] long-term, the potential [extreme] detrimental effects to democracy as a whole is [misinformation] serves to delegitimize elections for candidates,” Wideman said.
Wilson emphasized the importance of voting. She said that voting is an opportunity for citizens to express their opinions and influence the government.
“If you don’t like what [politicians are] doing, you [can] vote them out,” Wilson said. “And if you like it, you [can] vote them in… I think [voting] is the bare-minimum duty, in terms of patriotism, that you have as an American. To vote twice, every four years… [Voting is] an important responsibility that doesn’t take very long [and] there are a lot of different ways you can do it. Sometimes people say, ‘We protest’ or, ‘We write letters,’ and those are very important [things] that can impact how [governmental representatives] feel. [However], it doesn’t impact whether or not they keep their job as an elected official. [Voting] very much does.”