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With the primary elections for Alabama less than one month away, time is running out to register to vote and become an informed voter.
The primary elections will be held on March 1, giving voters a chance to potentially send their preferred candidate to the general election on Nov. 8.
In the primary elections, separate party ballots are printed, and the voter must choose between the ballot with Democrats running against other Democrats or the one on which Republicans run against other Republicans.
Every United States citizen who is at least 18 years of age, is not disqualified by a felony conviction and has not been judged mentally incompetent in a court of law has the right to register to vote.
Registration has recently become easier for Alabamians, with the Electronic Voter Registration Application being made available online.
On AlabamaVotes.gov, state residents meeting the aforementioned requirements may register by submitting the electronic form or by printing or requesting a mail-in form.
Upon approval of the voter registration application, the voter will be given information about where to vote and what to bring to the polling place.
The deadline to register to vote in the primary elections is Feb. 12.
In order to promote voter registration among students, Omega Psi Phi fraternity held a voter registration drive in the Trojan Center on Monday, Feb. 1.
“It’s important for college students to register and get involved in voting because college funding is a big topic in politics right now and we need to know who to vote for,” said Joshua Simmons, a senior computer science major from Montgomery and an Omega Psi Phi member.
Many potential voters, like Simmons, are still undecided on whom they will be voting for in the upcoming elections.
For those who fall into the category of undecided voters, there are ample resources to help learn about candidates, including ISideWith.com.
ISideWith.com is a website where you can view recent polls, read up on popular issues and take a quiz that will match you with the most like-minded candidates running for president.
As of Feb. 1, over 27 million voters used ISideWith to find their candidate match.
While some will be running to the polls, not every student is optimistic about the voting process. Others believe that voting does not matter at all.
“I registered to vote senior year of high school because my parents made me and told me I had to vote Republican,” said Cheyenne Mickelson, a junior psychology major from Enterprise.
“I don’t think it matters to vote, because our votes are merely an opinion for our senator. In a perfect world, they would take the majority opinion into account, but that’s unrealistic and we all know that politics are dirty — our representative is going to vote for whoever they want.”
Priscilla Hancock, a junior elementary education major from Birmingham, addressed this issue with a push for change among young voters.
“I think it is very important for students to register to vote because even though our vote doesn’t matter in the presidential election, we do elect our representatives and other state officials,” Hancock said.
“This doesn’t mean that these representatives will vote with the majority, but it’s better to vote and then address that issue later. The voting system is messed up, but we, as young Americans, have to be the ones to change it.”
Whether you are eager to vote or not-so-optimistic, the need to be informed is universal.
In the words of Abraham Lincoln, “Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.”
For more information on voter registration in Alabama, visit alabamavotes.gov.