College Students’ Efforts to Vote Absentee Thwarted by Ignorance of Stamps

That seems to be like a hump that they can’t get across.”

​College students attempting to cast absentee ballots are finding it difficult due to their unfamiliarity with stamps, a focus group conducted in Virginia this summer revealed.

WTOP r​epor​ted Tuesday ​on the results, which were based on responses from college interns working across various Fairfax County departments. Students described how their efforts to submit absentee ballots were stymied once it came time to actually mail in the physical document.

“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,” Lisa Connors of the Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs told WTOP. “That seems to be like a hump that they can’t get across.”

The focus group participants “all agreed that 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,” Connors said.

For many people, especially those in the generations preceding ​Gen​ Z, the idea of an adult not knowing where to find a stamp was slightly ludicrous, to put it mildly.

After WTOP’s story ran, Twitter commenters were ​ready with ​cutting ripostes lamenting the country’s future, seeing it as yet another sign of societal decline.

​​Dumping on the youths is a time-honored American tradition and rite of passage for olds and soon-to-be olds. 

And, to be fair, the young often do themselves no favors. Like when 33 percent of them ​aren’t sure if the earth is round. Or when nearly half ​don’t know what Auschwitz is. Or when they ​jump out of moving cars in the name of Drake.

Leaving aside the fact that a single focus group in suburban Virginia should hardly be determinative of broader generational attitudes, the gaps in Gen Z’s stamp knowledge are perhaps understandable considering just how digitally native the world has become.

Maybe Gen Z deserves a pass on this one, all things considered.

Or maybe not:

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