The University of Kansas is ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge participant campus, and a 2020 signatory of the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge Presidents’ Commitment.
Voting in the Upcoming Presidential Election
The 2020 general election is scheduled for Tuesday, November 3.
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 great information that we will reference in the FAQs below.
Already registered to vote? Let your classmates, colleagues, and friends know with these video backgrounds and profile pictures:
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. In the state of Kansas, the Office of the Secretary of State maintains a Candidate List for each upcoming election. This is helpful to check out who will be on the ballot for the primary in August, as well as the general election in November. You can then navigate to each candidate's website for more information about their platform!
The Campus Election Engagement Project has put together a Nonpartison Candidate Guide in English and Spanish that details where both of the presidential candidates land on specific issues, such as climate change, gun control, and minimum wage.
If there are certain issues, such as education or foreign affairs, that you are very passionate about, check out Issue Voter. This site enables you to "vote" on bills in Congress and see how often your representatives' opinions match yours. VoteSmart has a number of tools to help you determine candidates that do or do not share your personal views on issues.
To better understand the multiple sides of any issue, sign up for The Flip Side. You will receive daily emails with points from all ends of of the political spectrum so you can stay informed. ProCon.org does something similar, providing 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?"
Attending on and off-campus events related to elections and civic engagement can also be helpful ways to learn more about candidates as well as the electoral process. Here are some Fall 2020 civic engagement events:
- July 27: Civic Engagement 101: Local Government at a Glance (view the recording here)
- August 28-- Community Conversation: Voting in the General Election
- August 31-- Civic Engagement 101: How the 2020 Census Impacts YOU (view the recording here)
- September 1-- Educate and Act: Civic Engagement in 2020- Voting from the Margins (view the recording here)
- September 9-- Journalism and Politics
- September 17-- Lessons Learned from Amending the Kansas Open Meetings Act
- September 24-- Elections 2020: The Latest Scoop
- September 28-- Civic Engagement 101: Engaging With Your Neighbors
- September 29-- Presidential Debate #1
- October 6-- Educate and Act: Civic Engagement in 2020- The Feminist Agenda
- October 7-- Vice Presidential Debate
- October 15-- Presidential Debate #2
- October 22-- Angry Politics: Partisan Hatred and Political Polarization Among College Students
- October 22-- Presidential Debate #3
- October 26-- Civic Engagement 101
- October 27-- A Conversation with Charlie Cook
- October 29-- A Conversation with Shauna Shames: Why Millenials Reject Political Careers and Why it Matters
Election and Voting Logistics
Am I eligible to vote?
Requirements to vote in the upcoming election:
- You must be a U.S. Citizen.
- You must be 18 years old by November 3, 2020. 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.
Do I register at my school address or permanent address?
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.
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, go to voteks.org, click on Voting Guides in the main menu, then Provisional Ballots.
In this age of social media, where anyone can share information without verifying its truth, it is incredibly important for voters to fact-check. Here are some websites that can be helpful in checking biases and facts:
- AllSides: Curates stories from right, center and left-leaning media so readers can easily compare how bias influences reporting on each topic
- Fact Check: Nonpartisan, nonprofit project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, monitors factual accuracy of what is said by U.S. political stakeholders
- Truth or Fiction: Nonpartisan website where users can quickly and easily get information about fake news, disinformation, was, myths, hoaxes, virus warnings, etc.
- Open Secrets: Nonpartisan, independent and nonprofit website run by the Center for Responsive Politics, tracks how much and where candidates get their money
- Politifact: Pulitzer Prize winning website rates the accuracy of claims by elected officials, run by editors and reporters from the independent newspaper Tampa Bay Times
- ProPublica: Independent, nonprofit Pulitzer Prize-winning newsroom, produces investigative journalism in the public interest
- Snopes: Independent, nonpartisan website run by professional researcher and writer David Mikkelson, researches urban legends and rumors
- The Sunlight Foundation: Nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, public policy data-based journalism