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Voter registration taking off in Martin

Traditionally, Labor Day marks the beginning of the official presidential campaign season.

While campaigning has been going on for months already in this year’s highly charged and politicized race for the White House, many organizations are kicking off civic awareness events this week.

SGA, SAC and the Office of Multicultural Affairs are setting aside this week for voter registration and voter awareness.

At noon Thursday on the UC Patio, there will be a voter registration drive and cookout will be held with the first 100 registrants getting free food.

At 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Watkins Auditorium, Rick Shenkman will present “Seven Habits of Highly Effective Voters.”

Voting at UTM is relatively simple, and there are several ways to cast your ballot.

Usually, the easiest way to vote in this year’s election is on Election Day, November 2. However, many UTM students live far away from their hometown polling places so absentee voting or early voting may prove easier.

First, you may register to vote in Martin at the post office, SGA office, or at any of the voter registration drives on campus. Simply fill out a voter registration card and have it sent to the Weakley County Election Commission by Oct. 1 in order to vote on Nov. 2.

If you prefer to vote in your home precinct, there are two possible ways to accomplish that. Diane Cashion, Administrator for Elections for Weakley County, said that many are eligible to vote early.

“If someone has voted before, either in a general election or a primary, they can take part in early voting. They should check with their county election commission to see where it is, and early voting in Tennessee is Oct. 13-28,” Cashion said.

Another option is to vote by mail, which is allowed for full-time students.

To vote by mail, you must write a letter to your local county election commission between seven and 90 days before the election indicating your desire to vote absentee.

In the letter, you must put your name, home address, Social Security number, address at UTM, the fact that you would like to vote in the Nov. 2 general election, the reason for voting absentee, and your signature. The election commission will then send you a ballot by mail with instructions.

Additional information for voting in the Tennessee general election can be found on the Internet at