Voting rules vary from state to state, but this sheet should answer some of the most common questions. As always, don’t hesitate to contact your county registrar of voters, Secretary of State, or your Feminist Campus organizer for further assistance.
Can I register to vote where I go to school?
YES. In 1979, the U.S. Supreme Court decided in United States v. Symm that you have the right to register and vote where you go to school, even if you don’t intend to reside there permanently or live in a dorm room. Depending on the state, certain identification is required when you register to vote the first time. Your Social Security number or a driver’s license number should be sufficient. You may also be able to use your college ID card or other picture ID for verification. You can use a recent utility bill or bank statement as proof of your current street address.
Will my financial aid or student loans be affected if I register to vote at an address different from my family’s address?
NO. Where you register to vote has no effect on your scholarships, student loans, health and car insurance, or tuition payments. If you hear otherwise, challenge the information source and contact a Feminist Campus organizer.
Should I register at my family’s home address and vote by absentee ballot?
We always urge students to register to vote where they will be living on Election Day. You have a vested interest in voting where you go to school, live, and spend nine months or more out of the year. Although you can vote by absentee ballot, you shouldn’t rely on your family remembering to send your application for an absentee ballot or risk requesting an absentee ballot too late. Make your vote count in the community where you live.
Can a P.O. Box be used for the address on the voter registration form?
NO. A voter must use a physical street address in order to register to vote. This is so that election officials can assign the newly registered voter to a voting precinct. If the student lives in a dorm, the name of the dorm and street address of the dorm must be used on the registration form. A P.O. Box can be used as the mailing address where voting materials and sample ballots will be sent.
What do I do if I registered to vote and my name isn’t on the roster at my polling place when I go to vote?
Demand a provisional ballot and vote. According to federal law, you are guaranteed a provisional ballot. If the election is close, the state is required to verify and count all provisional ballots.