Early voting begins, UDems, College Republicans encourage students to be proactive

Christine Ayala

Early voting begins Monday, allowing registered voters to cast their ballots at their convenience throughout the county at any polling location, including the Flawn Academic Center at UT.

The FAC will be open for early voting from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. until Nov. 2. During the last three days of early voting, two locations at Highland Mall and Lamar Plaza Shopping Center will be open until 9 p.m. and will have more ballot boxes than other locations.

Students will need to show some form of identification, including driver’s licenses, or their voter registration card to vote. A full list of acceptable documents is available on the Travis County Clerk’s website.

Michael Winn, Travis County Elections Director, said voters should check if and where they are registered. Winn said there can be confusion about where students need to cast their ballot.

Those registered outside of Travis County can request a mail-in ballot as long as the application is recieved (not postmarked) by Oct. 30. Applications are provided by Travis County online but must be addressed to the student’s home County Clerk’s office.

“If you do vote early you can check that there are no problems, and if there are, you still have time to go vote,” Winn said. “It gives you a couple of days if you need to go to your home jurisdiction and vote there, or apply for a ballot by mail.”

Danny Zeng, goverment and finance senior and College Republicans communications director, said the convenience of on-campus voting works better with students’ busy schedules. If students wait until Election Day, they will only be able to vote at the precinct listed on their registration card.

“It’s better to just vote within the next week or so, just to take care of business,” Zeng said. “Students benefit from early voting by not having to worry about it on the day of election and avoid standing in long lines. We are college students, so time is precious.”

Winn said all voters should take time to see what is on the ballot beforehand to quicken the voting process.

Andre Treiber, sociology junior and University Democrats communications director, said preparation is important for student voters who will be heading to the voting booth in between classes.
“There are a lot of candidates and propositions on that ballot,” Treiber said. “Luckily, the Internet and Travis County have fantastic resources to help you there.”

Voters with questions can call 512-238-VOTE to contact the Travis County Elections Division. Voting information is also available on a free app “SmartTXVoter,” provided by the Texas Secretary of State.

Printed on Monday, October 22, 2012 as: Leaders urge students to vote early, prepare