- Fairfax County, Virginia conducted a focus group this summer with college interns from across various county departments.
- County officials learned that college students were failing to send back their absentee ballots because they didn’t know how to get a stamp.
- “That seems to be like a hump that they can’t get across,” Lisa Conners, of the Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs, told WTOP on Tuesday.
Democrats are counting on Generation Z, many of whom recently gained the right to vote, to help turn Congress blue in the midterm elections.
But 49 cents may be all it takes to keep these post-Millennials from exercising their civic duty.
On Tuesday, a Fairfax County, Virginia official said they are noticing a disturbing trend: young people failing to mail in their absentee ballots because they don’t know how to get a stamp.
Lisa Connors, of the Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs, ran a focus group this summer comprised of colleges students interning in various county departments.
“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 told WTOP. “That seems to be like a hump that they can’t get across.”
Connors went on to say that many in the focus group said “they knew lots of people who did not send in their ballots because it was too much of a hassle or they didn’t know where to get a stamp.”
“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.
As a way to combat this abstention for the upcoming midterm elections, the county is focusing on raising awareness of in-person absentee voting, which students can do while they’re home on fall breaks. That voting starts in Virginia on Friday.
Another potential hurdle that the county is worried about is voters mixing up their home address, where they are registered to vote, with the address they want their absentee ballot shipped to, according to WTOP. If they mix this up on the ballot, then it’s rendered invalid.
You can buy stamps from the US Postal Service online and in person, as well as from other online retailers like Amazon and Stamps.com. Banks, gas stations, pharmacies, and big box retailers like Walmart also sell them.