The 1st step to participating in this year’s election is making sure you are registered to vote.
These are the requirements to register to vote in the state of California:
- You must be at least 18 years old on the date of the election.
- You must be a U.S. citizen.
- You must be a current resident of California
- You must not currently be in prison or on parole for a felony conviction.
For more information on Voting Basics, visit the OC Registrar Voters Website
As a college student, you have the right to vote a) where you go to school, OR b)
in the town where you grew up – it is completely up to you.
If you decide to register to vote here in California you have two choices:
- Declare residency: You can establish residency in California if you have a present intention to remain at your California school address for the time being, and you intend to make it your principal home.
- Use your home address: If your parents are from California, the Secretary of State has also clarified that you may choose between your school addresses and your parents’ homes when deciding where to register to vote.
Visit Rock the Vote’s website for more information on voting as a student.
Keep in mind that you cannot register to vote in California if you have already registered in another state. However, if you wish to maintain your residency in another state, you can submit an absentee ballot.
You may register to vote by using the OC Registrar of Voter’s Online Tool. However, you may also use a printed Voter Registration Form that can be found at public libraries, city and county offices, California Department of Motor Vehicles offices, and at U.S. Post Offices.
You can register to vote at Chapman everyday in the Student Union from 11-1pm until October 22nd.
Additionally, you may register in person at Chapman on the following dates:
- Wednesday October 3rd 11-1 pm at the Campus Music Concert
- Wednesday October 3rd 6-8 pm in the Student Union (Presidential Debate)
- Thursday October 4th 6-8 pm in the Student Union (Debate Follow-up)
- Monday October 8th 11-1 pm in the Piazza
- Thursday October 11th 6-8 pm in the Student Union (Presidential Debate)
- Friday October 12th 6-8 pm in the Student Union (Debate Follow-up)
- Tuesday October 16th 6-8 pm in the Student Union (Presidential Debate)
- Wednesday October 17th 6-8 pm in the Student Union (Debate Follow –up)
You are eligible for an absentee voter ballot if you have registered to vote in person at a Secretary of State office or your local city or township clerk's office, or if you have voted in any previous election.
If you register to vote by mail, you CANNOT vote by absentee ballot in the first election after your registration becomes effective. You must vote in person.
Answers to frequently asked questions for specific states can be found on Harvard's website.
You can obtain an absentee ballot on the Long Distance Voter’s website.
You can find your specific polling place on the OC Registrar of Voter’s Website.
- Do I need to be a U.S. citizen in order to register to vote?
Yes. You must be a naturally born or fully naturalized U.S. citizen in order to register to vote.
- Do I need to be 18 in order to register to vote?
You do not have to be 18 to register. However, in the state of California, you do have to be at least 18 years or older by Election Day to vote.
- What is the deadline to register to vote? The deadline to register to vote is 15 days prior to each local and statewide Election Day. To be eligible to vote in the November 6, 2012, General Election, you must register to vote by October 22, 2012. You may register to vote by using the OC Registrar of Voter’s Online Tool.
- I am a student. Can I register to vote at my school address? YES. You have the right to register to vote at your school address, and this includes dorm rooms. Any student living in a dorm is entitled to the same rights as any other student. To imply otherwise is illegal. If you receive mail in a Post Office box you can sign an affidavit (or, in some cases, get a letter from your college's Residential Life office) asserting that you live at your dorm address. For more info, check out Rock the Vote’s page on student rights.
- Can I put a P.O. Box address or a school mailbox address as my permanent address? No. Your form will not be processed if you put a P.O. Box or school mailbox address as your permanent address. For districting purposes you must put a physical address. There is a section of the form to put your mailing address, in addition to your physical address.
- Should I vote if I don’t like either of the candidates? Yes! There are more than just two candidates in every presidential election. It can be beneficial to look at other candidates and you might find one who you would like to support. You can use Project Vote Smart’s Vote Easy Online tool to help you discover which candidate’s views are most like yours!
- I live abroad. How do I register to vote You should contact the Federal Voting Assistance Program. They specialize in getting people in the armed forces and people living abroad registered to vote. The rules for people in the armed forces or abroad are different than people living in the United States. The FVAP can also be reached by phone at (800) 438-VOTE.
- How can I check if I am registered to vote? You can verify your voter registration here.
- What if I REALLY want to vote in my hometown? You have the right to vote in your hometown. If this is something you’d like to do, you have 2 options: on Election Day, you can go home and vote at the booth provided in your district, or you can send in an absentee ballot prior to Election Day. You can obtain an absentee ballot on the Long Distance Voter’s website. Make sure you send it back promptly--if it arrives late, your vote won't be counted.
- How can I make changes to my voter registration? Keeping your voter registration up to date is important. If you have recently moved, became married, want to change your political affiliation (party) or anything else to your voter registration, you can do it on the OC Registrar of Voters website.
- What is a voter card? After you register to vote, most states send out a "voter card" to let you know your registration has gone through. The voter card helps you to confirm you're registered to vote and that your information is correct. Most also contain information about where you will go to vote on Election Day.
For more help on registering to vote, visit Rock The Vote and The OC Registrar of Voters.
Upcoming Events through this initiative:
- CU At The Booths September 3rd – November 7th
- Voter Registration Tables in the Piazza every other Monday September 10th – October 22nd
- Presidential Debate Screenings October 3rd, 11th, 16th, and 22nd
- Presidential Debate Follow Up Discussions October 4th, 12th, 17th, 23rd
- You can register to vote at Chapman everyday in the Student Union from 11-1pm until October 22nd.