Make your voice heard: Oregon voter's guide
Updated: Oct 10
Election Day will be one of the most important days of not only this year, but the next half decade. In the 2016 General Election, less than half of the U.S. student population registered and voted. Students should know how they can make their impact best, and the importance their vote carries. Before students cast their ballots, however, there is a lot of important information they need to know. Are they registered to vote? Do they know how to track their ballot? Knowing all the key information will help ensure the students’ votes count this election.
Students living on campus or off campus in Oregon may register as an Oregon voter regardless of what state they came from or their family resides now- as long as students are registered in only one state. If students are looking for information as an Oregon voter, the best place to start is the Voting & Elections section of the Secretary of State of Oregon’s [website]. Here, they will be able to get information on who is running for office, how voting in Oregon works, where ballot drop sites are and more. Those who have been displaced by the wildfires in Oregon can look further on the [website] to find additional information on where and how they can receive and return their ballots.
Students MUST be registered to vote no later than October 13. If a student is unsure of their registration status or still needs to register, [vote.org] is a very helpful website. You can also sign up for election reminders on the site, which will inform you when to vote and what documents are necessary to vote.
One common concern many have with voting by mail is How do I ensure my vote is counted? This is a somewhat complicated question, as it varies depending on where each student is registered. If registered in Marion County, students can track their ballot [online].
When asked what students should know going into election season, Richard Ellis, Mark O. Hatfield professor of Politics, Policy, Law and Ethics at Willamette, gave some helpful advice: “Don't just vote, get your friends to vote. Here you can pledge to be a voter (and help three friends do the same): [link].” You can pledge to be a voter even if you are unable to register before the election.
Before students make their vote, they should make sure they have all the information they need.