How to Have Your Vote Count While at College
When it comes to voting, your vote counts! Voting is important so we want you to be prepared when election day rolls around, here is how to register. Absentee ballots are easy, any Florida resident has the ability to apply for one and vote by mail. This is conducted before election day, and you may return the ballot either by mail or in person. This way of voting should be used when you are unable to be present at the polls.
You can register to vote through the FAU website if you are not already registered. FAU is part of the Voter Friendly Campus designation. FAU’s website ensures students have a better understanding of the voting process so you can make an informed decision when it comes time to cast your vote! The website helps with voter registration, voter education, voter turnout. In addition, the FAU website provides information to students wishing to become voter advocates.
Find your state’s requirements. To register to vote in Florida, you must fill out a new registration form online at RegisterToVoteFlorida.gov, by mail or in person. If you prefer to fill out the form in person, there are more places than you think to grab one. It’s available for download or available at any County Supervisor of Elections (Palm Beach County for FAU), any local library, or any entity authorized by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to issue fishing, hunting, or trapping permits.
An absentee ballot, or a “vote by mail” ballot is an option for those who aren’t or don’t want to register to vote in Jacksonville. The vote by mail ballot allows voters to receive their ballot by mail instead of having to go to the polls and vote in person. There is a deadline to request an absentee ballot, so this is an option for anyone looking to take care of their vote ahead of time.
The deadline to request the ballot be mailed to you is no later than 5 pm on the 6th day before the election, and the ballot must be received back no later than 7 pm on Election day, or else the vote won’t count! We did hear of many college students whose absentee ballots did not get counted in the last Presidential election. We do not recommend waiting too long to request an absentee ballot and mail it back. Absentee ballots can be requested on the county Supervisor of Elections website, in writing, by telephone, or in-person to the Supervisor of Elections.
Early voting is also an option for college students. Florida Atlantic University is one of several early voting locations. FAU makes it easy for students to engage in the early voting process. Early voting is accessible at the Housing and Residential Education building. This allows students to have a very convenient place to vote.
Many counties open up early voting locations so if your students will be home during this period of time, they can cast their votes there. For students registered in Palm Beach County, there are several early voting sites:
- Florida Atlantic University
- Supervisor of Elections Office
- Acreage Branch Library
- Belle Glade Branch Library
- Boca Raton Downtown Library
- Gardens Branch Library
- Hagen Ranch Road Branch Library
- Jupiter Community Center
- Lantana Branch Library
- Ezell Hester Community Center
- South County Civic Center
- Wellington Branch Library
- Wells Recreation and Community Center
- West Boca Branch Library
You also have the ability to view your precinct information below. Through voter resources, here are links that will take you to your particular county and from there, it will provide you with all the information you need regarding voting in your area.
Please click the links below to access each Florida county’s Board of Elections:
In the past, FAU has held workshops for students in the hopes of helping students become more informed on who to vote for in the voting process. This provides students with help and information that students need in order to make smart, knowledgeable decisions when they cast their votes at the ballot box. FAU is holding these invaluable information workshops again this year so make sure you go out and get informed!
If your student is studying abroad, they should request their absentee ballot several months in advance. For assistance in requesting that information for Florida. For those residing in another state, use the Usa.gov website.
Voting is important when it comes to making a difference. Every vote matters and believe it or not, your vote can determine the outcome. You have the ability to make an impact in the world. So don’t hesitate to cast your vote and allow yourself to have a part in the upcoming election! Register now, do your civic duty, and make your vote count!
Madeline Gilligan, FAU intern
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