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Kansas midterm elections approach

Meredith Comas, Online Editor-in-Chief

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It’s Oct. 16, the midterm elections’ voter registration deadline for Riley County. While most high school students can’t vote, there are a select few who will be sporting an “I voted” sticker on Nov. 6.

The process of voting can get lost in a sea of complicated forms and candidate debates, but elections are still important and, according to Riley County clerk Rich Vargo, easier than one may think.

“It’s not that intimidating of a process,” Vargo said. “A lot of kids are intimidated by it.”

According to Vargo, the first thing to do is to get registered. This helps gain access to certain voter privileges, like advanced ballot voting, sample ballots and polling place information.

For Riley County, advanced voting will take place Oct.17 on the second floor of county offices in the Court Office building and will close at noon on Nov. 5. Sample ballots and polling place information will be available online at rielycountyks.gov to all registered voters. However, be aware that Riley County uses electronic voting machines, and the sample ballot will be a sample paper ballot.

“I encourage all voters, not just young voters… to go out to our website, pull up a sample ballot,“ Vargo said. “That tells you all the races that you’re going to be voting on and that’s good because your ballot this time’s really long. You want to know and get educated on which races you’re going to be voting on that way you can educate yourself based on which candidates you want to vote for.“

For Manhattan High, especially for students, the vote to look for this election season will be the Manhattan High bond referendum. According to the USD 383 2018 Bond Referendum FAQs page, the $130 million school-facilities plan will ask voters for money to expand the Manhattan High West Campus to make room for the freshman class and necessary improvements, thus enabling the district to repurpose East Campus, which is currently serving as the freshmen center. They will also be looking to construct a new elementary school in Blue Township to control overcrowding, and hope to move sixth grade from the elementary schools to the middle schools.

The district will need approval in the next election for the bonds and plans to repay principal and interest over the next 20 to 25 years.

According to Vargo, as young voters, this is where it will imperative to participate.

“If you don’t go and vote, you can’t vote for the candidate or the issues that you believe…,” Vargo said. “That’s the only way for the public to really know how you believe and for your beliefs to get shown in your candidate. If you don’t participate and you don’t have a say, then you’re not really participating in your own community in saying which direction it’s going to go.”

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Kansas midterm elections approach