Voting as a College Student, Explained

Creating a plan to vote in November may not be a top priority between school, working, and our socially distanced social lives. After moving to a new state for school, questions can arise on the voting and voter registration process. Vote Z is here to help!


Frequently asked questions when it comes to voting as a college student.


I go to an out of state school, where do I vote?

If you are a college student who has a permanent address in one state and lives in another to attend school, you can choose where you want to cast your ballot. If you decide to vote in your home state, you must apply for an absentee ballot if you will be away from your municipality on election day. (Apply for an absentee ballot here.) Suppose you decide to change your registration to vote in the state you attend school. In that case, make sure you allow yourself enough time to register in that state before election day, as many states have deadlines for registering new voters before an election.


Can I stay registered at home if I go to school out of state?

According to USA.gov, students can send absentee ballots if they are still registered in their home states and attending school out of state. By applying to vote by mail before the election, you can participate as an absentee voter, with no need to travel to your hometown polling location.


Do I have to change my driver's license if I register to vote in a different state?

Not necessarily. If your license address does not match the state where you are registered to vote, you may need to present an official document with your name and current address on it at your polling location. This document can be a utility bill or paycheck with your current address on it in most states.


Does where I register to vote affect my in-state or out-of-state tuition status?

No, where you register to vote should not, typically, affect your in-state or out-of-state tuition status. Your residency status is determined by multiple factors, including voter registration, motor vehicle registration, driver's license, and state income tax return filing. If you are a dependent, where your parents live also determines your tuition status.


How does voting during the Coronavirus Pandemic affect college vote?

During the pandemic, deciding the safest way to vote has been complicated for all Americans, especially college students. More than 4,000 colleges have closed their campuses and converted to online classes, with 25 million students taking courses at home. At least 35 states allow "no excuse" absentee voting, allowing voters to apply for an absentee ballot without listing a reason.

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