BallotBox

An NAU student places their ballot in the Coconino County ballot box in front of the NAU bookstore, Oct. 13. (Photo by Brian Burke)

Located just outside the NAU Bookstore is a red, white and blue box for students to drop their early mail-in ballots. The ballot box is available 24 hours, seven days a week.

Sophomore Jacob Carter, has already submitted his ballot at the ballot box and said having a drop box directly in front of the bookstore means students living on campus or in nearby student housing have another way to ensure their ballot is cast and counted. 

Across Coconino County are eighteen ballot box locations where voters can submit their mail-in ballots. Locations of these boxes are posted on Coconino County’s website. All ballot drop boxes in Coconino County allow voters to submit their ballot up until the day polls close at 7 p.m., as opposed to having to send them up to two weeks early to ensure they are received and counted. 

For Arizonians to vote, the registration deadline was originally Oct. 23, but by order of an appeals court, the deadline was shortened to Oct. 15, according to The Arizona Republic. Those who have registered to vote during the extension period are allowed to vote in the Nov. 3 general election.  

The change of the voter registration deadline means that those who are already registered have a greater responsibility to vote in this election, Carter said. The ballot is daunting as there are many names, positions and bubbles to keep track of, he said, but the important thing to remember is every single vote counts. 

While the presidential election is important, Carter said he encourages students to consider the impacts of local votes such as the election for Coconino County Board of Supervisors and Proposition 208. Vote for candidates who care about student issues, he said. 

"To everyone who registered on time: It is our responsibility to make an informed vote on every proposition and every position," Carter said. "Students have a powerful voice this election. Let’s use it."

Kyle Nitschke, organizing director for the Arizona Student Association (ASA), worked with the organization to fulfill its mission of empowering the student voices in Arizona. Nitschke worked with NAU students and staff to set up the ballot box and meet state and county standards such as security, where it should be located and how accessible it is to the community. 

"Register to vote by mail so that you have time to look over your ballot and to look at what organizations you support and who they endorse," Nitschke said. "If you need help on where you stand on issues, or how to start, look into programs that NAU has to educate voters."

Nitchke and Carter both perform their civic responsibility and encourage students to do the same. The ballot box on campus gives students an opportunity to make their vote count. Further information on the Nov. 3 election can be found on the Secretary of State's website.