With the Nov. 6 general election drawing near, Kenyon students who wish to vote will have to register. Normally, voters who wish to register in Knox County can choose between registering by mail, registering in person at the County Board of Elections or registering online via the Ohio Secretary of State website.
For Kenyon students, a fourth option exists. Kenyon Democrats is hosting a voter registration table in the weeks leading up to the election. The table is located in Peirce Hall, and will be open every weekday until Oct. 8. To register, students will need to bring either an Ohio driver’s licence or the last four digits of their social security number, as well as their current on-campus address.
Students who come from out of state will need to decide whether to register here or at home. Assistant Professor of Political Science Kurt Pyle recommends that each student make this decision based on their own beliefs and preferences.
“I don’t think there’s a right answer,” Pyle said. “It may be that you feel a closer connection to your home community, and that’s where you want to vote. It may be that this is a place where you feel that you are living for the next few years, and that this is where you want to have a role in choosing your elected officials.”
Lizzie Boyle ’19, president of Kenyon Democrats, is one of the organizers of the registration table. While the choice of where to register is up to each student, Boyle believes that voting in Ohio is particularly important.
“Ohio is a swing state,” Boyle said. “We live here for now. Whatever is happening in our community is going to affect us. This is our home for the four years we are here, so it is important to get involved in your adopted community.”
The ballot will feature a tightly contested gubernatorial race between Mike DeWine (R), the current Ohio Attorney General, and Richard Cordray (D), former director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Voters will also decide on future House and Senate representatives, with five year incumbent Bob Gibbs (R) vying against Ken Harbaugh (D) for a seat in the House, and 11-year incumbent Sherrod Brown (D) competing with Jim Renacci (R) for a spot on the Senate. In addition, the ballot contains Ohio Issue 1, a proposition to reclassify acts of illegal drug use and possession as misdemeanors rather than felonies.
Online registration for the state of Ohio can be found at www.sos.state.oh.us/elections/voters/register.
In the Sept. 13 issue, the Collegian included a photo for the article “Kenyon Democrats offer opportunity for voter registration” that was from the Gund Gallery’s voter registration kiosk, not the Kenyon Democrat’s tabling. The Collegian regrets this error.