The ability to vote at the age of 18 is an extremely important rite of passage that I completely forgot about until my parents reminded me about it. More specifically, they reminded me that I needed to request an absentee ballot. An estimated 80 percent of Boston University students are out-of-state residents, so I was not alone. I had casually been putting off the task until I watched a Donald Trump interview with horror and realized what was at stake. Since then, I have completed the request and mailed out my application. Hopefully, I should be able to enlighten all of the other political procrastinators by explaining the process.
1. Get the application for a ballot by mail.
This is as easy as printing out the PDF that appears when you Google, “how to get the application for ballot by mail.” Your application should look something like this or this. It depends on the state you are from.
2. Fill out the application for a ballot by mail.
Everyone goes on and on about how incredibly simple this part of the absentee voting process is. Apparently, I’m as simple as the process because it took me far longer than it should have to fill out a one-sided application. I have some words of advice for you: read the instructions included in the PDF thoroughly. Also, don’t fill this application out in pencil even if you are afraid of making a mistake. You’ll eventually have to trace over everything in pen. Finally, don’t panic and call your mother for help. She’ll only laugh at you and imply that you suck at being an American.
3. Mail in your application.
Once you’ve filled out your application, address it to your home state’s election office. Mail it promptly. Finding a post office shouldn’t be difficult since you live in the city where the first U.S. post office was built. There are as many mailboxes here as there are Red Sox hats.
4. Receive your ballot.
Your ballot should be mailed to you soon after your application is accepted. Select your candidate accordingly. The future of your country depends on it, but no pressure. You then must mail your ballot to the early voting clerk of your home county. In Boston, you must turn it in by the time polls close on election day, otherwise all of your hard work will have been for naught. If you have any more questions about mailing your application or the U.S. Postal Service, please refer back to step three.
5. You’ve now cast your vote. Congratulations!