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Though young adults (ages 18-29) made up about 21% of the eligible voting population in the 2014 elections, voter turnout among this demographic reached record lows (only 17% of eligible young adults actually voted).  Students have the option and right to vote in either their school community or their home community.  Because students are likely first-time or new voters and may be voting in a different community or state than their home, it is important to know how and when to register in your preferred state. 

TurboVote

Registering to Vote in California

Whether you have yet to register or are already registered in California or another state, TurboVote is a great resource for you! TurboVote makes sure you always know when elections are happening and have the information you need to vote with confidence. Sign up to receive election reminders, get registered to vote, and/or apply for your absentee ballot!

Registering to Vote Outside of California

Did you know only 30 states allow for online voter registration?  Regardless of whether the state in which you'd like to register allows for online voter registration, TurboVote will make sure you get everything you need.  If your state allows for online registration, it will be processed confidentially through TurboVote; if your state doesn't allow for online registration, creating an account in TurboVote will make sure you all of the necessary forms are delivered to you in the mail.  To confirm the voter registration deadline for your preferred state, visit the U.S. Vote Foundation.

Learning About the Issues

Visit the websites below to stay informed about the issues and learn more about which candidates might represent you best.

  • Registration
  • Polling Locations
  • FAQs
  • Campus Election Events
  • Student Voting Data
  • Voter Registration

    The 1st step to participating in this year’s election is making sure you are registered to vote.  Voter registration requirements vary by state, which makes registering early very important.  Visit the Campus Vote Project for more information on voter registration requirements for each state.  Once you know what's needed, visit TurboVote to register and be reminded about upcoming election dates.

    Voter Residency

    As a college student, you have the right to vote a) in your school community, OR b) in your home community.  This decision is entirely yours.

    If you decide to register to vote here in California you have two choices:

    1. 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.
    2. 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 the Campus Vote Project for more information on registering and 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 apply for an absentee ballot via TurboVote.

  • If you plan to vote in-person in Orange County, you can find your local polling location through the OC Registrar of Voters.

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    • 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?
  Age requirements for registration vary among the states.  Visit the Campus Vote Project for state-by-state voting guides that specify the age requirement of your preferred state.
    • What is the deadline to register to vote?  The deadline to register to vote varies from state to state.  Some states allow you to register at the polls on election day. Visit the Campus Vote Project for state-by-state voting guides that specify the registration deadline of your preferred state.
    • 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.
    • I live abroad.  How do I register to vote?  The Federal Voting Assistance Program specializes in supporting people in the armed forces and people living abroad in registering to vote.
    • How can I check if I am registered to vote?  If you've already registered, you can visit HeadCount to verify your registration status.
    • How can I make changes to my voter registration?  Keeping your voter registration up to date is important.  If you have recently moved, want to change your political affiliation (party) or make any other changes your registration, you can do so by updating your registration via TurboVote.
    • 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.
  • Civic Engagement Initiatives coordinated the following election-related events during the Fall 2016 election season.  Similar opportunities are coordinated during each primary and general election season.  Email civic@chapman.edu for more information about any of the events listed below.

    September

    15th – Life of the Parties

    26th – Presidential Debate Screening

    27th – National Voter Registration Day

    28th – Deliberative Dialogue: Politics in America

    October

    1st – Voter Registration Concert with OC Registrar of Voters at the Chapman Family Homecoming Celebration

    4th – Vice Presidential Debate Screening

    9th – Second Presidential Debate Screening

    11th – Deliberative Dialogue: Immigration in America

    19th – Last Presidential Debate Screening

    25th – Deliberative Dialogue: Guns in America

    November

    2nd – Deliberative Dialogue: Creating a Climate for Change

    8th – Shuttles to polling locations

    8th – Election Day Watch Party

  • Chapman is one of more than 1,000 colleges and universities participating in the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE).  Civic Engagement Initiatives' participation in this study is helping to build a database of nearly 30 million college student records that is already serving as a foundation for innovative research on college student political learning and engagement in democracy.  Feel free to review our most recent campus report for more information.  Highlights include:

    • 57.2% of eligible Chapman students voted in the 2016 elections, up from 46.6% in 2012.
    • 81.6% of eligible Chapman students registered to vote in the 2016 elections, up from 71.7% in 2012.
    • Chapman University's student voting rate is 6.8% higher than the average voting rate of all institutions participating in the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement.

Party Information

Take some time to review the websites of the various political parties to learn more about their history, platform, and candidates.  What elements of each party do you agree and/or disagree with?

America's Party

Constitution Party

Democratic Party

Green Party

Independent American Party

Justice Party

Libertarian Party

Party for Socialism and Liberation

Peace and Freedom Party

Reform Party

Republican Party

Email civic@chapman.edu if you know of another party you'd like to see added to this list!

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