UVM's Civic Engagement Office is committed to helping register all eligible UVM students, faculty, and staff to vote - and support an informed engagement in voting, political issues, civic engagement among our community, regardless of political beliefs or affiliation.
Below you will find information and links to help you navigate the various topics and information to ensure you're a registered and informed voter this semester.
REGISTER TO VOTE (OR CHECK YOUR STATUS)
Don't wait for a voter drive to register - do it right from the comfort of your home using our partnership with the online tool TurboVote. This tool will walk you through the registration process step-by-step and ensure you're good to go on election day.
Heads up - some states might require you to print your registration form out and mail it in to complete your online registration (so it's important to make sure you're registered well before election day). It's all designed to be simple and intuitive, but if you need some extra help check out our TurboVote Instruction Guide (pdf) or feel free to give us a shout if you run into any issues.
DECIDE WHERE YOU'LL VOTE
Are you trying to decide whether to register in Vermont or your home state? It's an important decision to make and could determine how you are able to vote on issues that matter to you.
Here’s a few quick things to consider:
What are Your Voting Options?
Your options for registering (and voting) might help you decide where you want to cast a vote. Timelines for registering and sending absentee ballots in differ from state to state - Have you missed any deadlines? What's the absentee ballot timeline the states you're choosing between? What's the registration deadline?
The Electoral College
Consider how your vote counts with regards to the electoral college. The Electoral College system give each state a certain number of 'electors' based it's number of representatives in congress - there are 538 total votes. A presidential candidate needs to get more than half (270) to win the presidency. Because total electoral votes varies from state to state - your vote might have a greater weight depending on where you cast it. As such, it's helpful to ask things like "Is my state considered a swing state?" or "How many electoral college seats does where you want to vote have?".
Sites like 270 to Win feature up-to-date interactive maps with the party standings for each state - and they outline each state’s number of electoral college seats so you can see the breakdown of how the electoral college system works. Easy!
Your Voice, Your Impact
Consider local issues to the states you're thinking about voting in. The presidential election will dominate the headlines - but local and state officials are also running for election (and relection) in the state you'll register to vote in too. Consider where your vote to count most and make the choice to register where you think your vote will best suit your voting goals.
MAKE A VOTING PLAN
You're regstered, you understand the issues and what (and where) casting your vote means - come November it'll be time to cast your vote and let your voice be heard. Think ahead and plan out the logistics of where you'll need to go - or how you'll vote by mail.
I'm Voting in Burlington...
If you're choosing to vote in Burlington you'll vote at a polling place dependant on which of the city's 8 Wards your registered Burlington address is in. Not sure which Ward or polling place you're in? No prob - use the city's interactive map to plug in your address and find out where you'll go. The City of Burlington Clerk’s Office website also has additional nessisary information and forms if you need them.
I'm Voting in Vermont (but not Burlington)...
If you're voting outside of Burlington, but still in Vermont, you should check out the My Voter Page on the Vermont Secretary of State’s website. This page allows you to plug in your information and check on everything from your polling location to who the elected officials are on the ballot (and even check in on your absentee ballot - if you've chosen cast one).
I'm Voting Outside of Vermont...
If your voting in a state other than Vermont, you can find voting options and deadlines using We Can Vote, an online nonpartisan tool that'll let you find your state and help you get important dates, deadlines, processes and locations so you can to be a prepared and socially conscious voter from afar.
There are a plethora of online resources to help you navigate how and where to cast your vote - or how to submit an absentee ballot. Some of our favorites include the Election Center from our friends at Rock the Vote, which includes information about registration deadlines and absentee ballots in all 50 states, and the Washington Post's voting resource page which shows you the ways you can vote after plugging in your voting prefrences.
Registering to vote is only half the process - how you cast your vote is equally as important. Make informed decisions about the topics and candidates you'll be voting for by learning more with these non-partisan resources:
- College Voting Guide - Learn why student voting matters.
- Supreme Court Voting Guide (pdf) - A nonpartisan guide to many current issues and how the Supereme Court impacts them.
- FactCheck.Org - A project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.
- Detecting Disinformation - A voter education resource by Campus Election Engagement Project on uncovering deceiving information.
- Project Vote Smart - Provides information on politicians.
- League of Women Voters of Vermont - A nonpartisan political organization encouraging the informed and active participation in government. It influences public policy through education and advocacy.
- Voting Rights - A Short History by Carnegie Corporation of New York – Brief overview of voting in America for different people and social communities.
- Voting for Human Rights Guide 2020 – Resource from Human Rights Watch that explains the human rights voting approach and why it matters.
- Heal the Vote Nonpartisan Voter Guide – Resource from Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice
- Resources from the National Center for Transgender Equality on Voting - Resources from the National Center for Transgender Equality.
- LGBTQ Voter Guide – Resource for LGBTQ voters for building voter awareness.
- Disability National Voting Resources – One Vote Now created a national resource for voters who have disabilities with self-advocate guides, disability voter guides, checklist for polling places, educational resources, and national voting information.