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Voter Registration Resources

This guide contains information on voter registration.

The Essentials

The California Primary elections are on Mar 3, 2020 and you must be registered by Feb 17, 2020.  The next presidential elections are on Nov 3, 2020 and you must be registered by Oct 19, 2020.  Alternately, you can go to your polling place, which you can find here, on the day of the election and register conditionally to vote the same day.  You can check other states' deadlines here.

Where you vote, also called your "polling place," is determined by the physical address used when you register.   Students have what is called dual residency, which means that they can register to vote from their home address or their campus address but not from both addresses. 

According to Vote.org: "Students with scholarships or tuition that require residency should check with their financial aid office before registering to vote back home. For example, if you have a scholarship that requires California residency, you should ensure that registering to vote in a different state will not affect your status."

Finally, if you register to vote at home but will be on campus, you will need an absentee ballot.

In about 1 minute, you can see if you are already registered here.

If you are not registered, you can register here in about 2 minutes.

You can learn where to vote from here.

If you cannot or do not want to go in person to vote on election day, you can get an absentee ballot here and mail it for free.  Absentee ballots that are mailed must be postmarked on or before Election Day.

You can learn more about federal and local ballot measures and candidates here from this non-biased site created by the League of Women Voters.  ("Local" here only includes California.)

Why it's Important to Vote

Are you an American citizen with most of your life ahead of you? And do you care about any of the following: global warming, poverty and inequality, student debt, immigration policy, L.G.B.T.Q. rights, institutional racism, gun violence, access to health care, abortion rights, Social Security, or American military intervention?

These are some of the issues that elected representatives, or their appointed judges, will be wrestling with in the coming years and decades. If these issues — or others — matter to you, vote!

If you need added incentive, keep in mind that legislators across this country are actively working to make it harder for you to vote. They’re betting that technical barriers, hassles, costs and confusing rules will keep you away from the polls. So consider your vote as an act of rebellion — like the Boston Tea Party — a refusal to be disenfranchised.

Here’s why it’s urgent: During the 2014 midterm election, only 12 percent of eligible 18- to 21-year-old college or university students voted. In 2016 — with the presidency at stake — less than half of college undergraduates voted.  (David Bornstein, July 4, 2018 New York Times, "Getting Student Power Into the Voting Booth")

If you think that your vote will not matter consider that "about three dozen House races considered competitive this year were won in 2016 by margins smaller than the number of college students living in the district." (Farah Stockman, New York Times, March 3, 2018, "How College Campuses Are Trying to Tap Students’ Voting Power")

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