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Indiana Daily Student

In-state students share their plans for voting in the 2020 general election

Indiana voters face obstacles when trying to vote by mail due to the requirements for requesting an absentee ballot laid out by the government on its website

Indiana residents need a specific reason to request an absentee ballot, including being 65-years-old, being scheduled to work, being confined due to injury or illness and more.

Three IU students said they are voting in person.

IU freshmen Ellie Score, freshmen liaison for Women in Government at IU, said she will be voting in person Nov. 3 in her hometown of Noblesville, Indiana. Score said she was born in Dallas, Texas, but has lived in Noblesville since she was 3 years old.

Score said she will be driving some of the friends she’s made at IU back to their hometowns to vote at their polling locations early on election day.

“I’m very passionate about people voting,” she said.

Score said for a lot of people, voting by mail was the safest option, but she doesn’t have any preexisting conditions or other requirements to allow her to vote absentee. 

Score said she doesn’t think crowds will be an issue at her polling location because it covers a small area and a lot of older people are likely voting by mail. If crowds are an issue, Score has already planned to bring a mask, gloves, hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes.

“It was also something really very special for me and my friends to go in person and vote in our first presidential election,” she said. 

Score said going to vote is extremely important as a woman especially in order to respect and honor the lives and legacies of suffragettes.

“They fought for every woman, Republican or Democrat or Independent, to vote,” she said.

Score said she believes this is an unprecedented election and it is important for voters to make their voices heard.

IU senior Zachary Harrison, one of the leaders of Campus Action for Democracy, said he is voting early and in person in his hometown of Bloomington. He said he did not have the option to vote by mail and voting early is safer than voting on Election Day.

Harrison said there have been long lines and concerns about social distancing at the early voting location in Bloomington. 

Campus Action for Democracy is a nonpartisan organization and does not take donations from political parties, Harrison said. He said their goal is to boost students’ political power and make sure their voices are heard through voting.

“Beyond it being a civic duty and the most powerful thing we can do as an individual, it’s also collectively about standing up for what we want to see our country and our state and our community uphold,” he said.

Harrison said state and local elected officials affect day-to-day lives and he wants to change the perspective those decisions do not affect students or younger people.

IU junior Taylor Gibson, one of the leaders of Campus Action for Democracy, said she has already voted in person in her hometown of Dyer, Indiana. 

Gibson said she voted the first day early voting began because she wanted to make sure if any problems arose there was enough time to fix it before Election Day. She said her voting location was crowded and she spent an hour and a half in line trying to keep her distance from others while wearing a mask.

Campus Action for Democracy tries to encourage civic participation among students in Indiana specifically, Gibson said. She said her organization is currently focusing on issues relevant to students such as educational costs and the presidential election.

“This may be one of the most important elections of our lives,” she said.

Gibson said she believes a lot of things are at stake with this election, such as personal liberties, the Supreme Court, wealth inequality and more. She said she thinks if everyone votes it can make a difference.

“I think we’re more powerful together,” she said. “You’re able to make a statement when you have a bunch of people behind it.”

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