Voting convenience and student life collide on Oct. 18 when the Lory Student Center opens as a polling location for the first time.
“I was really debating on if I wanted to try and go somewhere to vote,” said Jie Fan, a senior finance major. “It’s really difficult to find the time to locate a (polling) place and then drive there,”
The old Association for Student Activity Programming office located on the first floor of student center near the Associated Students of CSU office will be an early voting branch for Larimer County. ASCSU and CSU Administrators worked in coordination with Larimer County Elections to make campus a polling location. This location will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 18 through Nov. 2.
Early voting branches offer an alternative to traditional voting practices. They provide registered voters with a choice in location and voting date, as well as a place where voters can change their address, drop off or replace spoiled absentee ballots, or avoid the wait on election day, according to www.co.larimer.co.us.
Avoiding lines and easy voting are some of the benefits students for which look.
“I am here on campus every day. It’s convenience,” said Ashley Kelemen, a senior consumer and family studies major. “It will also be a more relaxed atmosphere, everyone around you will be a student – it won’t be the same environment as a normal polling booth.”
Courtney Stephens, ASCSU director of community affairs, estimates the voting process will take about 30 minutes.
“The process really depends on the individual voter. Make sure you’re educated on the issues and the candidates, then you can go in, fill out the bubbles, and be out in five minutes,” Stephens said.
Stephens said it is difficult to estimate the number of students and community members who will use this location.
“It is hard to tell whether people will be coming here versus their normal places or if we will actually gain new voters,” Stephens said.
ASCSU has developed plans to combat long lines and frustrated students.
“We will be very structured and everything will be labeled,” Stephens said. “Because we are open for such a long time we don’t expect problems with lines.”
To be eligible to vote, people must be registered in Colorado 29 days prior to each election. Voters must also have a valid state or national identification, or government documents that show the voter’s name and address. Student IDs are not accepted. To obtain a voter registration application or for more information visit www.co.larimer.co.us or call the elections office at 498-7820.
“I think this will increase my chances of voting,” said Minas Hill, a junior business management major. “On your way to class you can just stop off and vote.”