Ohio State email can serve as election identification for students
Published: Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 4, 2012 00:10
Ohio State students will be able to use a printed copy of an email from the Office of the University Registrar as a form of identification on Election Day.
During the week of Oct. 15, students will receive an email with their current address as listed in their student center on the Buckeyelink website, according to a Tuesday morning email to students from Enrollment Services.
“This has actually been done for the past few elections,” said Jack Miner, OSU senior associate registrar.
The email notification came on Tuesday, the first day of early voting and one day prior to the first presidential debate Wednesday.
Oct. 9 is the last day for voter registration in Ohio.
If a student is registered to vote in Columbus but is from another city or state, the address that appears on their driver’s license or other forms of identification might not match the student’s voter registration address, which could create complications with identification on election day.
Miner said he hopes the email will “encourage more students to vote while they’re away at college.”
The email came as a relief to some students.
“It was reassuring to know that I will actually be able to vote,” said Sam Donnellon, a first-year in engineering.
Donnellon is from South Carolina but is registered to vote in Franklin County, having registered with his address at Bradley Hall.
“I really didn’t know how it worked, I just registered,” Donnellon said, because he wanted to make sure he could vote while at OSU.
Vanavia Weatherly, a third-year in strategic communication and English, is from Canton but is registered to vote in Franklin County.
“When I registered they told me I would get something in the mail but I never got anything,” Weatherly said.
However, she said her off-campus apartment address is on her driver’s license, and this is the address she used to register with so she was not concerned about any issues at her polling place.
A student may register to vote at his or her school address “if the student regards that place as his/her residence and registers to vote. Otherwise, the student must vote in his/her home community if registered,” according to the Franklin County Board of Elections.
Residence is defined by Ohio law as “the place to which, whenever you are absent, you have the intent to return.”
A voter’s residence determines which offices and issues they are eligible to vote on. This is particularly important in this year’s presidential election because many believe Ohio’s outcome will play a crucial role in determining who will be the next president. No Republican candidate has ever won the presidential election without carrying Ohio, and the winner has carried Ohio in all presidential elections since 1964.
According to a seven-day rolling Gallup poll, as of Wednesday, President Barack Obama was leading in the polls with 49 percent, while Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney trailed at 45 percent.