Central New York, Politics

One theory as to why young people don’t use absentee ballots: no stamps

College students are filling out incomplete ballots because they do not know where to get stamps. © Kayla Miller 2018

College Students Struggle to Vote As They Cannot Find Stamps

Listen here to find out why college students are affecting polls because they can’t obtain a stamp for their ballot.

Audio transcript: Miller-Wrap #2 Story Script

By Kayla Miller SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — Election day is approaching, but according to a public affairs official, out-of-state college students are not finishing their ballots because they do not know where to get stamps.

Lisa Connors, an official for Fairfax County, Va. said the issue was pointed out in a group of college interns. Students would receive the mail-in absentee ballot, fill out the paperwork, and then they do not know where to get the stamp to mail it.

Rick Franklin, a Syracuse postal worker, said young people today are not used to sending letters through the mail. “Nowadays, kids get to college and they’ve never been in a post office. Maybe they went with mom or dad, but they never paid attention or maybe they’ve never gone,” Franklin said.

Elizabeth Garrahy, a Syracuse University sophomore, is a Rhode Island resident who recently filled out the absentee ballot for the primaries. She said her mother obtained the stamps for her, otherwise she would not know where to go.

Kyle Cohen, a Syracuse University senior, said the young generation has consumed new technological ways to communicate. “We’re really used to online, emailing, texting, and even messaging on Facebook,” Cohen said.

However, Garrahy stressed that not finding a stamp to mail in a ballot should not be an excuse to not vote. “Students don’t realize the importance of voting these days. It’s all of our civil duties to vote, so I really think it’s important that we do get absentee ballots,” Garrahy said.

Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 6.

You can get stamps at your local post office, grocery store, or bank.