There has been considerable national and local news coverage recently about student voting privileges and a student's right to register in the community in which they attend school.

While Virginia Tech cannot provide students with individualized advice, the university strongly supports a student’s right to vote and strongly recommends students to exercise their rights. Virginia Tech has compiled the following primer on the voter registration process.

Learn more about college student voting and registration at the Virginia State Board of Elections website.

In an effort to help ease some confusion that students and families may be facing, the Virginia Tech Student Government Association is helping fellow students by offering the Voter Drive Program to provide an easy and efficient way for Virginia Tech students to vote in the coming election. The Voter Drive Program was recently established by the student leaders of the Student Government Association and will offer Virginia Tech students a reliable, on-campus source to turn to for voter registration, absentee ballot voting, and voting questions or concerns. The Voter Drive Program is located within the Student Government Association office at 321 Squires Students Center. To learn more about the Voter Drive Program at Virginia Tech, e-mail Michael O’Brien, the director of government affairs for the Student Government Association.

Emily Mashack, president of the Virginia Tech Student Government Association said, “The student government just wants to make sure that Virginia Tech students are knowledgeable about their voting rights – this is sure to be an unprecedented election. I hope once Election Day arrives that voter turn out from Virginia Tech is incredible.”

Casting an absentee ballot is a possible option for students who are currently registered voters elsewhere in Virginia or outside the commonwealth. Detailed information on absentee ballot voting can be obtained by visiting the Virginia State Board of Elections website, the League of Women Voters website, or the Student Government Association offices. An absentee ballot from any of the 50 states can be obtained from the Student Government Association office.

To find out the last day in which you can register to vote in your state of residency visit Rock the Vote for deadlines. The voter registration deadline in Virginia is Monday, Oct. 6, 2008. Applications for a Virginia absentee ballot by mail must be in the voter registration office by Oct. 28. The last day for Virginia in-person absentee voting is Nov. 1.

Should voter registration drives take place on campus, it is imperative that students do the appropriate research to make sure the information they receive is accurate. Students also need to be aware of their surroundings and if they do not wish to be approached by on-campus representatives, they should simply say “no thanks.” Students should report any individuals to the Virginia Tech Police who they think has unauthorized access to residence halls. The Virginia Tech Police can be reached by calling (540) 231-6411.

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