Engaged Learning

5 Tips for Voting on November 3

by Annie Breen, USF News

Registered to vote yet? Come on. It takes two minutes.

“Voting is about power, and as young people become the largest voting bloc in our history, it's important that we activate them in this election year and give them the chance to take back that power,” said Angeline Vuong of the McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good and the USFVotes initiative.

Since 2017, USFVotes has registered 10,000 voters, including 2,400 since June. But registering voters and getting them to the polls are two different things. USF students’ voting rate in the 2016 election was 54.6 percent, just 2 points higher than the national average. USFVotes is out to raise that percentage in 2020.

As you prepare to vote, keep in mind these five tips from USFVotes.

  1. Know your voter registration deadline. Different states have different deadlines. Find yours.
  2. Make sure you receive the correct ballot. To make sure you receive the ballot that’s right for your region, check the address on your voter registration. (Pro tip: Each time you move, update your registration.)
  3. Educate yourself on the issues affecting your community and get familiar with “down-ballot” — or less-known local — elections. Find your ballot and do your homework.
  4. Worried about election security? Track your ballot. In 46 states and Washington, D.C., you can track your mail-in ballot to make sure it’s received and counted. In Connecticut, Mississippi, Montana, or Wyoming, call your elections office to check the status of your ballot:
    Connecticut: (860) 509-6100
    Mississippi: (601) 359-9372
    Montana: (406) 444-9608
    Wyoming: (307) 777-5860
  5. Work the polls. There’s a worker shortage nationwide. Volunteer at powerthepolls.org. You can also do phone banking through Reclaim Your Vote and use OutVote to text people reminders to register and vote.