UK student helps educate peers on voting process
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A University of Kentucky student is trying to educate young voters confused about the election process.
Senior Olivia Antigua calls herself a voting rights advocate, passionate about educating people on the process.
She said her peers have been confused by this year’s deadlines, directions and ways to vote.
Signs decorate campus encouraging voter registration, but getting to the polls or putting pen to paper is a different challenge.
It’s hard to say whether the majority of students on this campus will stick with conservative leadership, swing left, or are torn down the middle.
“A lot of times, parents and grandparents go to the polls with that whole mindset, ‘think about grand kids and kids and what you want the world to look like for them.’ Well, I’m coming into the voting polls and I say I want to decide what I want my future to be,” Antigua said.
This political science major has her eye on a future in public policy or public administration, but she’s already serving the people.
Antigua said students spend so much time in their college bubble, they forget where and why their vote counts.
“With a lot of college campuses, people aren’t necessarily from the city that they go to school in,” she said. "They’re registered all over the place, I’m registered in Illinois.”
That’s where Antigua cast her vote. She said many of her peers aren’t sure how to go about it voting.
“How do I find out who’s on my ballot, what’s the right way to fill out a ballot, what’s the right way to make sure it sent or received, so it’s really the entire process that causes some confusion,” she said.
She shares resources and tips on social media. Her profile saved at least one vote.
“One of my friends said, ‘Oh, I used a ballot box and the county clerk told me I should’ve sent it to my home county instead, they were telling me it might get thrown away,’ but then she called her home county and they told her it might just get mailed to them via the clerks,” she said.
She said students aren’t always comfortable asking questions.
“It definitely scares me, I know that this election is very contentious," she said.
For her friends who vote absentee, she recommends double checking their work.
“Go back to the days where you have to use scantrons in high school, fill it out completely, dark ink, make sure and go through two or three times and follow every single instruction.”
And those who opt to stand in line, she said it’s important to plan ahead.
"Are you going to bring some snacks and water for yourself? What about a chair?”
She’s helping them overcome hurdles in a year of firsts, for those who are voting for the first time.
Voters can find sample ballots online before casting their vote.
Go to govoteky.com to check the status of your absentee ballot, polling locations and more voting information.
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