By Garrick Bostwick, Transcript Correspondent
The Ohio Wesleyan University (OWU) department of politics and government offer to help students vote early in the 2018 mid-terms despite historically low turnout among young voters.
OWU’s Arneson Institute for Practical Politics and Public Affairs will offer students transportation to voting locations in Delaware by way of shuttle service. This comes during a critical point in American politics as Congress could tip either way after this year’s mid-terms. Many political analysts believe that if more Americans aged 18-25 voted then Democrats would gain a significant advantage in Congress.
The manager of the Institute’s student involvement initiative for the 2018 mid-terms, Franchesca Nestor, hopes students will take advantage of the opportunity provided. According to Nestor, the Institute was not started due to the low turnout of young voters in previous elections.
“One of us takes steps to make sure students are involved in politics” Nestor said when asked about other times the Institute was involved in getting students to the polls. This is in accordance with the Institute’s politically unbiased goal of encouraging students to vote, started by its founder, Professor Micheal Esler of OWU’s politics and government department.
“We aim to give as many people as possible the opportunity to vote and help those with absentee ballots” Nestor said.
Students such as Joe Antal are taking advantage of this opportunity as he is using an absentee ballot and will take a shuttle to deposit his ballot.
“I don’t have a car so if not for these shuttles I wouldn’t have voted like many people my age” Antal said.
While Nestor is concerned about the low turnout of younger voters in previous elections, she is more so concerned about voting on a national level. She claims that the introduction of voter identification cards and other such requirements for voting deterred people from it and hopes that early voting can counteract this.
Only in the past few years has early voting been offered in Ohio and Nestor hopes more students will go to the polls because of this. According to her, early voting opens the opportunity to vote as it is easier to fit in more peoples’ schedules.
That said, there are still requirements for voting in Ohio beyond registration to vote. At the polls one must provide a form of state-issued identification such as a driver’s license or an identification card issued by the state of Ohio. If either of those can’t be provided a copy of a utility bill from OWU can be used as well.
All of this was detailed in an e-mail sent out by Nestor to the student body, informing them the time when shuttles leave for the polls and what must be done with absentee ballots. The remaining shuttles will leave Nov. 6 at 8:10 a.m, 2:10 p.m and 4:10 p.m