To the Editors:
On Thursday, September 4, I was walking through Smith Union, and I noticed that two representatives of a Maine non-profit organization were registering students to vote. While I was glad that students had this opportunity, I was concerned that the two representatives were trying to persuade a student who obviously wanted to vote in his home state to register in Maine.

Bowdoin students have every right to register to vote in Brunswick if they consider it to be their residence. However, students who do register become subject to the same laws concerning driver’s licenses, automobile registrations, and income taxes as other Maine residents.

I recommend that students visit the website of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU and search for “Student Voting Guide.” The guide explains voting laws in each state.
Students who want to vote in other states should be aware that many states have much earlier deadlines for registering and requesting absentee ballots than Maine. For example, Massachusetts requires mailed voter registration applications to be postmarked by Wednesday, October 15; New York requires them to be postmarked by Friday, October 10; and California requires them to be postmarked by Monday, October 20.

The Brennan Center’s Student Voting Guide contains links to voter registration applications and absentee ballot request forms that may be printed and submitted by mail. For some states, there are links to websites where these documents may be completed and submitted online.
If you start the process now, you will have plenty of time to mark your absentee ballot and return it to your state by Election Day.

Michelle A. Small ’86