University of Kansas Legal Services for Students is providing free notary services on campus this week for students mailing in absentee ballots.
LSS will be tabling around campus to notarize ballots and help students navigate the voting process. Students will be tabling outside Mrs. E’s Dining Hall Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 5-7 p.m. and outside Downs Hall from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday.
“It’s not just a place where you can get your ballot notarized or receive a postage stamp,” said Student Senate Government Relations Director Logan Stenseng. “If you have questions about voting or you’re not sure about your plan, or if there are any general questions that people have about the process, we want to be there to help you.”
Need to get your absentee ballot notarized? LSS staff will be available to provide FREE notary public services outside Mrs. E's Tuesday, the 20th, and Wednesday, the 21st, from 5 - 7 pm. This event is sponsored by the KU Student Legislative Action Committee. pic.twitter.com/cwRzflxlVK— KU LSS (@KU_LSS) October 20, 2020
Stenseng encouraged students to identify if their respective states require mail-in ballots to be notarized, as not all states require it.
“I wasn’t completely aware for a long time that certain states actually required [notary], and a big one being Missouri,” Stenseng said. “I think something that’s really important is people figuring out ‘Alright, is my state a state that requires a notary to be present?’”
LSS hopes to ensure new voters follow all the specific policies that coincide with mail-in ballots so their votes are counted. If a complication arises it can have detrimental impacts and set the tone for someone’s voting experience, Stenseng said.
“Since [absentee ballot voting] is one of the main methods that’s being promoted to use in light of COVID-19 and considering college students are able to vote out of state, we want to make it to where those folks who do want to vote out of state have the resources available to make that easy for them,” Stenseng said. “We don’t want bureaucratic rules to stifle someone’s participation.”
The Student Legislative Action Committee is sponsoring the notary services. SLAC is dedicated to increasing civic engagement and voting participation on campus. Stenseng, the chair of the committee, said this event was crucial to their mission.
“We believe that this is a way that we can engage in a nonpartisan manner to provide pivotal information and services to help people engage in the voting process,” Stenseng said. “We think that these resources should be made available to students, so that way we’re making it even easier for them to vote.”
Students who need their ballot notarized must bring their ballot to the tabling sites. Those working the tables will be available for general advising on navigating one’s voting plan.