UC students vote absentee from DC

File photo: A stack of vote-by-mail ballots sit on a table prior to being sorted at the San Francisco Department of Elections January 24, 2008 in San Francisco, California.
File photo: A stack of vote-by-mail ballots sit on a table prior to being sorted at the San Francisco Department of Elections January 24, 2008 in San Francisco, California. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

If you were planning to vote absentee in Tuesday’s election — sorry, it’s too late. The deadline to apply for a vote-by-mail ballot passed yesterday. Record numbers of Californians are voting by mail — including University of California students spending this fall in the nation’s capital.

When it comes to voting by mail, UCLA student Jehan Laner gets an “A.” Laner is studying in Washington, D.C. this fall, but she wanted to participate in Tuesday’s election. She says she got her absentee ballot in the mail "pretty early on." She says she requested it "like the first day you could request it!"

The stakes are high for both political parties. Republicans have a good shot at taking the majority in the House. UC Davis political science student Henry Loyer discovered the true meaning of “every vote counts.” Loyer is an intern at a Congressional office, "so they helped me make sure I got the voter information in."

Not everyone is casting a ballot.  UC Davis student Jesus Cazares is working as an intern in Washington, D.C. this fall.  He looked online to find out how to vote by mail, but he admits he never followed through.

"I procrastinated," he says. "I got carried away with my internship and my research."

Cazares isn't the only one who'll be sitting on the sidelines election day. UCLA senior Justin Tang says the presidential race two years ago excited him. But this election just didn’t “spark his interest.”

He says he's "not indifferent," but just didn't "go through the effort" to request a ballot. "I guess I’m lazy," he said.

Several students who did want to vote reported problems. UC San Diego’s Nicole Clifford voted absentee from England in 2008. She filled out a change of address form, but her ballot went to England anyway.

"I understand that it is very hectic, but I sent in my card to vote absentee in DC like a month ago and they still have not updated the database."

One student admitted her that mom filled out her ballot when it arrived at her California home instead of her D.C. address. She gets an "F" — that's not allowed.

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