University of Connecticut students are making mistakes when filling out their voter registration forms making it difficult for the Voters’ Registrar at Mansfield Town Hall to complete the process.
With election day registration deadline approaching, many students are finalizing their registration process. However, some of them are making mistakes that could potentially prevent them from voting.
“Many students are not filling in the forms completely. Some miss birth dates, some forget to sign and date, some don’t put down a mailing address. We cannot process applications that are not complete,” Jeanne Ahern Mogayzel, the Democratic Registrar at Mansfield Town Hall, said.
If a student wants to register in Mansfield, they have to use their UConn address instead of their home address.
Mogayzel said this was one of the most frequent mistakes students were making when filling out their applications.
Other mistakes include people forgetting to write their names on the form and, while not a mistake, sometimes it is difficult to read the handwriting.
“We have received several applications without names on them. Can you imagine? Got an address, got a birthdate, got a signature - but no name,” Mogayzel said.
The office of the registrar doesn’t get many mail forms, but they do get a lot from organizations on campus that hold voter registration sessions.
If students are planning to register with some of the groups that hold voter registration drives around campus, they should be careful and fill out everything with the correct information.
Mogayzel said she held a training session with some groups at the beginning of the semester so they could catch mistakes when registering people and, as a result, fewer mistakes have been made.
A common problem with online registration is that students don’t know their mail is delivered by the university, so students need to put their on-campus address, which includes their dorm name and numbers.
When someone makes a mistake in a voter registration drive, the group hosting the drive will often try to contact the student to correct the mistakes.
Similarly, if the form gets to Town Hall, the registrar will contact the student via email or phone to fix the problems.
In other cases, if the student forgot to sign the card, the form will be mailed to the student along with a prepaid envelope so they can return it with the correct information.
“Note that if they don’t give a correct mailing address, we are stuck because there is nowhere to return the card to,” Mogayzel said.
She added that the Mansfield registrar does the best they can to correct the mistakes and complete the registration process.
If the mistake is not fixed in time, the person will not be able to vote. If they provide wrong information, they could face jail time and a fine of up to $5,000 said Mogayzel.
The registrar office has registered thousands of people so far.
“Voter registration is not complete until the elector receives a confirmation letter from our office in the mail. Check your campus mailbox. If you don’t know where it is, ask your RA,” Mogayzel said.
Editor's Note: If students’ registration forms are invalid, they are still able to vote through Election Day Registration. More information can be found at www.mansfieldct.gov/vote.
Daniela Marulanda is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org