With elections coming up, it may be difficult for out-of-state students and students not registered to vote in Berkeley to cast their ballots.
If you are from California and registered to vote, you will be sent a ballot by mail that can be turned in at any ballot box or polling place in the state. However, ensure that your voter registration is updated to your Berkeley address, or your ballot won’t be sent here. And wherever you live or are registered to vote, here are some tips for how to make sure your vote gets counted!
Where to vote in Berkeley
As long as your ballot arrives at the Alameda County Elections Office within a week after election day, they will be counted. Ballots can also be dropped off at any polling place on Election Day, Nov. 8 between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.
In-person polling places can be found throughout Berkeley, but a few nearby campus include the Anna Head Alumnae Hall, the Ed Roberts Campus, Rosa Parks Elementary School and Oxford Elementary School.
You can ask someone to drop off your ballot for you if you need to, but to do so, you have to fill out the authorization section on the ballot envelope.
Alameda County recommends that voters drop off ballots by Nov. 3 to ensure they are delivered on time. Local ballot boxes can be found at the Claremont Branch and North Branch Berkeley public libraries, as well as the Frances Albrier Community Center. To find a ballot box in your area, you can check here.
There are voting drop-off locations near campus as well, including one by Sather Gate, and some around Berkeley Civic Center. If you are not registered to vote in California, but you reside here as a student, you can register here.
What to do if you’re not registered
If you are not registered to vote in California but want to vote in your local elections wherever you are registered, check your local state’s regulations to see if you are eligible for absentee voting here. While each state differs on who is eligible to vote by mail, most states consider students attending college out-of-state eligible to do so.
If you do vote by mail for an out-of-state election, ensure that your ballot has been postmarked by that state’s specific deadline. For Arizona voters, the recommended deadline is Nov. 1; for Texas, New York and Nevada voters, the deadline is Nov. 8. You can find more state deadlines here.
While there may be some barriers to students being able to vote in this election, voting by mail allows students to vote, despite being away from home. Wherever you may be registered, it is important to utilize the resources available so that your voice can be heard not only this election season, but in the future.