Scroll down for details on how to vote wherever you are.
Choose a Voting Method. This fall, every voting method comes with some concerns. Some voters fear long lines for in-person voting due to a shortage of election workers, while others fear their mail-in ballot will not be delivered to their home, or back to their elections official, in a timely fashion. The key to ensuring your ballot is cast and counted is to do your part ASAP. Look at the deadlines for your state and make your plan on the calendar.
Voting early in person. If you want to vote in person, do it during early voting if it’s offered in your jurisdiction. In Maine you can vote early ONLY IF you haven’t also requested an absentee ballot in the mail. If you have already requested an absentee ballot in Maine, you must wait for your requested absentee ballot to arrive in the mail. In Brunswick you can return it by 1) bringing it with you to Town Hall, 2) dropping in the 24/7 secure dropbox outside Town Hall), or using USPS.
Voting in person on Election Day. If you intend to vote in person on election day, you might want to request an absentee ballot anyway as a backup plan in case there are problems at the polling place. Then later, if going in person turns out to be practical, in most states you can void the mail ballot at your polling place and vote in person. Voting in person on election day, after you have requested an absentee ballot, is workable in Maine. If you’re voting in another state, check the detailed ballot FAQ for your state to see what’s possible. Before you head to the polling place, it’s wise to pack extra food, an extra phone battery/charger, and double-check any ID or other documentation you might need to vote. And add the Election Protection hotline into your phone – 1-866-OUR-VOTE.
If you plan to vote by mail, request your ballot ASAP and return it ASAP using TurboVote (below). A few states still require a non-pandemic excuse in order to vote absentee: IN, LA, MS, SC, TN, TX. Track the evolving policies here.
Learn about what’s on your ballot. The ballot lookup tool at All In To Vote lets you save and email all your selections so you don’t have to stress in the polling both. It also lets you drill down into the candidates and issues you want to learn more about. However it doesn’t perfectly cover races at the local level, so you may want to look up a real sample ballot at the website of your local election official (view Brunswick ballots here). Other popular ballot lookup tools are at ballotpedia.org and vote411.org.
Decide where you stand. Many students feel like they just aren’t informed enough to justify voting, or haven’t given enough thought to political questions. A fun way to explore your own ideas is the Political Typology Quiz. Visit the Learn page for our favorite tools for making sense of politics and news.
Get all the info and make a plan now. TurboVote has all the data and forms you need to find your polling place, request your ballot, and get updates if things change. If your state requires paper forms, TV can send you a PDF or snail mail them to you for free, along with a pre-addressed and stamped envelope to submit them: