Voting in Elections
Participating in Upcoming Elections
As many students will be first-time voters in this election, the CSL is committed to helping you navigate the process so that you can exercise your constitutional right to vote. There are a number of great websites that are full of information that we will reference in the FAQs below.
How to Vote
You have a few options when it comes to casting your ballot. Before learning more about them, don't forget to Register to Vote and/or Check Your Voter Registration Status.
Option 1: Absentee/ Mail-In Voting
Absentee voting allows you to vote by mail If you are unable to get to your polling place on Election Day due to:
- Injury, illness, disability
- Travelling or being on vacation away from home
- Being a student at an out-of-state college or university
- Being a member of the military of part of a military family stationed overseas
- Being a U.S. citizen that currently resides overseas
Check your state's absentee/ mail-in voting rules here. You can easily request an absentee ballot here.
Option 2: Early Voting
Early Voting allows registered voters cast their ballots on specified dates before Election Day- most states offer this voting option. Check to see whether your state offers early voting here.
Option 3: Voting on Election Day
Voting on Election Day involves going in-person to your official polling place and casting a ballot. Locate your polling place here.
Campus Vote Project has created voting guides for college students in each state, complete with deadlines, FAQs and more- visit campusvoteproject.org and select your state to get started!
Where to Vote
Students attending college have a choice about where to register to vote! They may register at their campus address or choose to remain registered at their permanent/home address. This is completely the choice of the student and where they would like to vote.
If an out-of-state student at KU would like to vote in Kansas, their Student ID works as a form of voter identification if they choose to vote in person. Visit Campus Vote Project's Kansas State Voting Guide to learn more!
Making Election-Related Decisions
Deciding who to vote for in local, state, and national elections can sometimes be difficult. The most important and helpful piece of advice we can give is to do your research on the candidates before filling out your mail-in ballot or heading to the voting booth.
- Kansas Secretary of State Candidate List: Check out who will be on the ballot for the primary in August, and the general election in November, navigate to each candidate's website for more information about their platform!
- Campus Election Engagement Project Nonpartison Candidate Guide: In English and Spanish, details where both of the presidential candidates land on specific issues, such as climate change, gun control, and minimum wage.
- Issue Voter: "vote" on bills in Congress and see how often your representatives' opinions match yours.
- VoteSmart: determine candidates that do or do not share your personal views on issues.
- The Flip Side: daily emails with points from all ends of of the political spectrum so you can stay informed.
- ProCon.org: provides arguments for and against a given statement such as, "should the US implement a Universal Base Income?" or "should the US adopt a climate change plan such as the Green New Deal?"
- AllSides: Curates stories from right, center and left-leaning media so readers can easily compare how bias influences reporting on each topic
- Fact Check: monitors factual accuracy of what is said by U.S. political constituencies
- Truth or Fiction: quickly and easily get information about fake news, disinformation, was, myths, hoaxes, virus warnings, etc.
- Open Secrets: tracks how much and where candidates get their money
- Politifact: rates the accuracy of claims by elected officials
- ProPublica: produces investigative journalism in the public interest
- Snopes: researches urban legends and rumors
- The Sunlight Foundation: public policy data-based journalism
Requirements to vote in the upcoming election:
- You must be a U.S. Citizen.
- You must be 18 years old by Election Day. In Kansas, you may pre-register when you are 17.
- You must register to vote. To view your state’s registration deadline, go to rockthevote.org/online/.
If you want to vote in Kansas, go to voteks.org/before-you-vote/am-i-eligible.html to view additional Kansas voting eligibility qualifications.
Students may register to vote at either their school or permanent address, but not both.
To register in your home state, go online to Rock the Vote. Registration deadlines vary by state, so be sure to check by going to rockthevote.org/online/. You will also find links to information about absentee ballots and other pertinent information that is specific to your state.
To register in Kansas, you may use the online registration form at Rock the Vote or you may register in person at a registration site. Get step by step instructions on how to register in Kansas at kdor.ks.gov/Apps/VoterReg/Default.aspx. Your county election officer will notify you that your voter registration was completed successfully or that further action is needed.
Once you have been notified that your registration has been completed, you can view your polling site by going to myvoteinfo.voteks.org/voterview.
Your address will affect who is listed on your ballot. For instance, if you are from Michigan, but register to vote in Kansas, you will only be able to vote for candidates that represent Kansas. Each state has different requirements and restrictions related to voting. To learn more, visit votinghurdles.com. Each state also has different timelines for early voting, which you can learn more about here.
You will need to re-register if you have moved, changed your name or need to change your political party.
An absentee ballot is used when you are not able to vote in person at your polling site. Because the election is on a Tuesday, it is likely that you will be on campus and will need to vote by absentee ballot if you are voting in another state.
Whether you are out of state or out of the country, you can use an absentee ballot. You can find more information specific to your state at vote411.org.
Don’t forget to check your state’s absentee ballot deadlines.
Not every state allows for early voting. You can check your state’s early voting calendar at vote.org/early-voting-calendar/
Kansas does have an advance voting period during which time advance voting can be done in person or by mail. If you wish to vote by mail, you can complete an Advance Voting Application found on the Douglas County Election Office website.
In-person advance voting dates and locations can also be found on the Douglas County Election Office website.
You will have an assigned voting location based on the address you submitted when you registered. If you are registered in Kansas, go to the Kansas polling place search. You can also use this site to confirm your voter registration.
Since Election Day is on a Tuesday, if you are registered in different state, you will need to use an advance ballot.
You will need a photo ID, such as a driver’s license or your KU student ID. Go to gotvoterid.com/valid-photo-ids.html to view other acceptable forms of identification.
By law, the election process must be accessible to all voters. At voteks.org, you will find information on three types of accessibility: language, polling place and ballot. Go to
voteks.org/before-you-vote/accessibility.htmlto view the guide to voting accessibility.
You may vote by provisional ballot if there is any question about your eligibility. There are a number of reasons why you might be denied, such as not re-registering after a change of address. Ask the poll workers for a provisional ballot.
More information on provisional ballots, visit the Kansas Secretary of State's Election Resources page and select the Provisional Voting Guide.
In a primary/caucus depending on state’s rules, you may have to vote for a candidate from the political party you’ve registered with. In a general election you do not have to vote for the party you’re registered with on any level (federal, state, or local).