Chuo University in Tokyo sent a request to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications and Tokyo election administration commission on June 2 for an increase in the number of registration offices for absentee voting by students living far away from home, many of whom are still registered as voters in their hometowns.
The public offices election law requires residents to have lived in a place over three months to be eligible for voting. Many new 18- and 19-year-old voters who have just enrolled in universities or taken up jobs away from their hometowns may fail to meet this requirement. In January, these voters became eligible to vote at their old addresses. Chuo University claims that more absentee ballot registration offices are needed to accommodate students who prefer to vote in Tokyo.
Chuo University plans to coordinate with other universities to create an environment that encourages the students to participate in the election.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs responded: “The actual procedures for absentee voting and early voting depend on each election commission. Nevertheless, we welcome suggestions for improving the voting environment.” (Abridged)