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Home / Articles / Special Sections / Student Guide /  Student Guide 2010: You're in college, it's time to get politically active
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Friday, August 20,2010

Student Guide 2010: You're in college, it's time to get politically active

By Jefferson Dodge

You`ve seen the photos from the 1960s and 1970s of students protesting on campus with their “Make love, not war” signs.

Well, times may have changed, but the college years are still one of the formative periods in one’s life when it comes to political beliefs and activism.

Maybe that’s because you can start voting when you’re 18. Hmm.

In addition to getting involved with CU student government, there are plenty of opportunities for being politically active on a larger scale.

Why not start by voting in the Nov. 2 election? Get yourself a copy of Colorado’s voter guide, commonly referred to as the “Blue Book.” It can be found online at www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite/CGA-LegislativeCouncil/ CLC/1200536134742.

Or, just wait for Boulder Weekly’s annual Vote guide, which hits newsstands on Oct. 8.

Either way, you’ll need to do your homework beforehand, as there are a buttload of initiatives on the ballot this fall. The election features everything from tax-killing measures to an antiabortion amendment.

While proponents of the tax-killing measures say government has gotten too big and that people need to save all the money they can in this sluggish economy, opponents of Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101 say the initiatives would effectively shut down state government, crippling crucial public services and infrastructure.

The anti-abortion measure, Amendment 62, would define “personhood” as beginning at conception, effectively making abortions the equivalent of murder.

Whether you lean red or blue, you need to exercise your civic duty and vote. It’s as American as apple pie, perhaps even more so.

Below are some tips and deadlines to keep in mind, even for you nonresident students.

• Voter registration is available online in Boulder County for the first time, at www.voteboulder.org.

“I think that’s going to be a huge benefit for all voters, but especially college students,” says Jessie Cornelius of the Boulder County Clerk and Recorder’s Office.

•That website also has a page featuring information specifically for college students, as well as other features that let you check things like your voter status, political affiliation and address. You can change your address online, but between Oct. 4 and Election Day, you must do it in person at a clerk and recorder’s office.

• In-state students living in Boulder County only temporarily may want to just register and vote in their home precinct, either by mail or in person.

• For nonresidents,registering to vote is a step toward establishing Colorado residency, which could affect your financial aid, so check with your folks. You may want to just mail your vote to your precinct in your home state.

• In addition to being at least 18 years old and a U.S. citizen, to register to vote you must have resided in the precinct at least 30 days prior to the election in which you intend to vote.

• In addition to submitting forms by mail (Boulder County Clerk & Recorder, 1750 33rd St., Suite 200, Boulder, 80301) and fax (303-413- 7750), you can send them by e-mail as a signed PDF (clerkandrecorder@bouldercounty.org).

• You can vote via mail-in ballot, at an early voting location (like the Student Recreation Center) or on Election Day at your assigned polling place. Mail-in ballots for those who have requested them will be mailed to voters starting Oct. 12. Oct. 26 is the last day to apply for a mail-in ballot if you want it sent to you. Early voting will be held Oct. 18 to Oct. 29.

• Oct. 4 is the last day you can register to vote in the general election.

• If you vote in person on Nov. 2, don’t forget to bring identification. Even CU ID cards are accepted.

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