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Why Don’t College Students Have Election Day Off?

Kalaia Jackson, Opinions Editor

Row of voting privacy shields. Photo//City of Southfield

Election Day is coming up, and I feel that there is one matter that has yet to be addressed: the challenges that college students encounter when trying to participate in the voting process.

As a high schooler, I looked forward to election time; our building was a polling location so we got the day off of school each time Election Day came around. Now, as a college student, I am perplexed that I am not given the same opportunity because the day is more important to me than it was before.

Once I turned 18, I wanted to vote in every election. But I soon found out that my college schedule may not accommodate my desires, especially if my classes are scheduled throughout the day.

Shortly before my 18th birthday, I became an election worker and noticed that it is not designed for college students to have these positions because it meant missing the entire day of classes.

To overcome this setback, I emailed my professors, who were thankfully very understanding. But why should college students have to endure this stress when we can have the day off to vote?

The only option we have is to vote absentee, which means requesting your ballot ahead of time and returning it through the mail or to an authorized ballot drop box before the polls close on Election Day, usually at 8:00 p.m.

Having to juggle the responsibility of being a college student already takes up a lot of our time, and being able to vote on important matters that determine the fate of our city should be taken more seriously.

Colleges and universities must take this into consideration because we need to be able to exercise our right to vote without any hindrance.

P.S. If you haven’t already, request your absentee ballot with your local clerk’s office. Let your voice be heard!

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