Lehigh students and community members line up at Litzenberger House polling place in Bethlehem on Nov. 8, 2016, to vote in the 2016 election. Some students have been unable to vote because of problems with their registration. (Erik Thomas/B&W Staff)

Lehigh students experience difficulty with on-campus voting registration

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A number of Lehigh students have reported issues with their voter registration when they tried to vote today.

Some students have received notices in the mail that their registration information was invalid. Melanie Grycan, ’18, who registered with voter registration organizers in the University Center in October, said she got a letter just before the election that said her application to vote was not able to process.

“They said that the last four digits of my social security were wrong and so they put all my information at the bottom of what I put in,” she said. “Under the last four numbers of my social is my Lehigh box number, not my last four digits of my social. But I know for a fact that I did not write down my box number as my last four digits of my social number, it makes no sense.”

Grycan said by the time she got the letter, it was too late to figure out another way to register in time before Election Day.

“It sucks because I know for a fact that I read over my form three separate times . . . there’s no way I would have put the wrong number in,” she said.

Grycan said it’s possible that an organizer who helped her file the voter application input the information incorrectly.

“I tried to go talk to the woman like ‘Can’t I come in and bring my drivers license and social and everything else even if I want to wait in line — however long — at the actual voting place?’ but she was just like no,” she said.

Alexis Pezza, ’17, also registered to vote with the organizers in the UC, but was never mailed her voter registration card, nor did she receive any notice that her application was not processed.

“(The person who helped me register) said ‘OK, you’ll expect your voter registration card in the mail two to four weeks or so,’” she said. “That time passed and I hadn’t received a card or confirmation, but my friend and my roommate who had done the exact same thing — just a day later than I did, also with a guy just walking around campus with a clipboard — she had received her voter card within the designated time he specified.”

After realizing her application likely didn’t go through, Pezza decided to register to vote for a second time, this time online. Because of this, she was ultimately able to cast her vote.

Annie Henry, ’18, tried to switch her voter registration to Bethlehem from her hometown of Hanover, Pennsylvania. She tried to vote today and realized it never got switched. She ended up having to drive more than two hours home and back to cast her vote.

Many other students reported experiences similar to these, which resulted in their inability to vote on Election Day.

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