Opinion: Legends not being a transfer site is detrimental to voters

Opinion: Legends not being a transfer site is detrimental to voters

Cory Spiers

As the election draws nearer, those eligible to vote eagerly await the chance to make a choice in our local government.

However, due to a decision made by the Watauga Board of Elections, Legends will no longer be a transfer station and will instead be a polling place for students living in dorms on east campus and those with a provisional ballot. If you live on west campus, you will be voting at the Watauga County Agricultural Center if you do not have a provisional ballot, according to an Oct. 23 article in The Appalachian.

This creates some serious problems for Appalachian State University employees and students who live off campus. They will have to vote in whichever precinct they are assigned to or fill out a provisional ballot in order to vote at Legends.

Things simply shouldn’t be that complicated on Election Day.

The provisional ballot adds its own complications, as it needs to be verified by the BOE before it can be counted.

According the article, having the transfer station requires no extra cost from the county.

So why is it being taken away? It seems illogical, especially since this will be the last year a transfer station is available.

According to an article in the Winston-Salem Journal, with the new Voter ID laws being enacted, transfer stations will be done away with and provisional ballots cast in the wrong precinct will not be counted.

Also, in a September meeting of the board, Chairman Luke Eggers voted to have the polling station moved from the Student Union to Legends. Even though Legends has complications such as not having backup power and being prone to flooding.

Yet the vote in September was 2-to-1 in favor of moving the polling station to Legends.

For many students, this will be the first time voting outside of their normal precinct, in some cases their normal county. Unfortunately, the added complication of having to go to a voting station off campus or the filling out of a provisional ballot to vote on campus is just more to deal with.

And those who live off campus will have to vote at other polling places that may force them to travel to the site rather than simply voting on campus.

The decision to exclude a transfer site also prevents teachers from voting on campus. They must somehow schedule a time to go to their specific polling place while managing classes and other duties, as well.

All of this makes no sense in terms of voting convenience.

If voting is something we as citizens should do in order to have a say in what happens in our government, why is it being made more complicated for students than it has to be?

Opinion: ELIZABETH MCMICHAEL, Opinion writer