I have been excited about my chance to vote in this election. I visited McCain and Obama’s website almost every day along with watching numerous CNN news videos and reading stories to keep on the campaigns. I was ready to vote.
I registered in Adair County on October 8. I filled out my registration form with help from voteforchange.com. I had printed the form and was walking from the library on campus to the County Clerk’s office downtown. On my way there I saw a table on the quad that had people registering students to vote and they said they would be turning in all the forms. Keyword being ‘all’. So I turned in my form to them. I haven’t thought much about registering since October 8 because I assumed I was registered. I had no idea that they usually send a voter ID card, so I wasn’t expecting one. November 4th at around 1:30pm I drove across town to the ‘Moose Lodge’ to cast my vote. I wasn’t on the list or in their palm pilot of registered voters in Adair County. I then drove to the County Clerk’s office to see if they had my form just laying around. No such luck.
The County Clerk told me that there have been many problems with getting registration cards back from the organizations on campus that asked for blank ones. She even said that a group that registered people at HyVee hadn’t turned in even one registration card.
I turned to leave only to run into two more Truman students who were there for the same exact reason.
I spent the rest of the day letting various media outlets know what injustice had just occurred. I wrote a letter to the editor in the INDEX, e-mailed the professor in charge of the INDEX who said they would a story on it (found here). I also sent a news tip to the TV Station in town – KTVO. I was promptly contacted to be interviewed on camara by them. KTVO told my story on the 5:00 news, 6:00 news and the 10:00 news. They showed different video clips of my interview on each newscast. The 10:00 clip was the best, because it showed how excited I was to vote.
I even tried casting a provisional ballot, but was told by the County Clerk that even if I did, my vote would not be counted since I didn’t have a registration card filled out.
Lesson learned: When it comes to college organizations, don’t rely on them for anything that is remotely important to you.