A focus group in Virginia’s Fairfax County found that many college students decline to complete the absentee voting process because they don’t know how to purchase stamps.
The group, which included college-age interns working for Fairfax County, said that many of their peers received mail-in ballots and filled them out, but did not return them, according to WTOP.
Lisa Connors, a spokeswoman for the Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs, told WTOP that for college students, purchasing stamps appears to be “a hump that they can’t get across.”
“One thing that came up, which I had heard from my own kids but I thought they were just nerdy, was that the students will go through the process of applying for a mail-in absentee ballot, they will fill out the ballot, and then, they don’t know where to get stamps,” Connors said.
She said that the students in the focus group, which was conducted over the summer, agreed that they had many friends who did not send in ballots because they did not know where to get stamps.
“Across the board, they were all nodding and had a very spirited conversation about ‘Oh yeah, I know so many people who didn’t send theirs in because they didn’t have a stamp,’ ” Connors said.
Kate Hanley, the Fairfax County Electoral Board secretary, told WTOP that the county is hoping to push college students to vote in-person absentee when they visit home on fall breaks in the coming weeks.
“We’re really working on information to get the college students to be able to actually vote where they’re registered and vote absentee because it’s very confusing and it has a lot of pieces that can sort of go wrong in the middle of it,” Hanley said.