Voting: On campus or at home

With campaigns such as Rock the Vote encouraging young adults to get out and vote on Election Day, they have ample opportunities to register and vote on Nov. 4 âÄî the only question is where. College students in particular are presented with a special problem when it comes to casting their ballot: Should they vote at home or on campus? Students at the University of Minnesota have an opportunity to choose. According to the Minnesota Secretary of StateâÄôs website , âÄúLiving in a location while you are temporarily going to school does not necessarily make that your U.S. residence for voting purposes, even if you lived there for several years.âÄù Voting residence is determined by the last place a person lived in that is considered home. Students that consider their parents’ home to be their own can vote in their parentsâÄô district, even while at school. Those who consider a college address to be their home can vote in their collegeâÄôs district. For students choosing to vote at the college district and registering on Election Day, they can present a Minnesota driverâÄôs license if the address listed is in the precinct they are voting in, or may also present a Minnesota driverâÄôs license or student I.D. along with a recent utility bill, a rent statement dated within 30 days of Election Day, or a student fee statement, according to the Secretary of StateâÄôs website. For those who wish to vote in their home district, absentee voting may be a better option than going home next Tuesday. Minnesota resident voters who wish to place an absentee vote can print off an application online by going to the Secretary of StateâÄôs website and clicking on âÄúabsentee voting.âÄù Once they have finished the application, voters can mail it in and receive their ballot, which they can also mail in once completed. The deadline to request an absentee ballot is Nov. 3 and all absentee ballots must be returned by Nov. 4. In Wisconsin, requests for absentee ballots by mail must be made by Oct. 30 at 5 p.m., and all ballots must be received by 5 p.m. the day before the election, according to the Elections Division of the Wisconsin Government Accountability BoardâÄôs website . Whether students decide to vote at home or on campus can make a difference, Paula OâÄôLoughlin, an associate political science professor at the University of Minnesota-Morris, said . âÄúAt times, it can make a huge difference,âÄù she said. âÄúIn a town such as Morris, half the voting population are students. If they vote here, they can decide who wins or who doesnâÄôt.âÄù While OâÄôLoughlin said there may be less affect in larger areas such as the Twin Cities, she said legislative candidates can benefit from students voting on campus. As for where students should decide to vote, OâÄôLoughlin said students should vote where it matters most to them. âÄúIf a student is concerned about the traffic in Minnetonka, they should vote in Minnetonka,âÄù she said. Most importantly, OâÄôLoughlin said, students should âÄúvote, whichever way feels right to you, but vote.âÄù To find your polling place or for more information on your stateâÄôs laws on absentee voting, visit your stateâÄôs Secretary of State website.