Frequently Asked Questions

Can I still register?

While each state varies in their requirements, National Voter Registration Day is Sept. 22, 2020. Hopkins Votes encourages you to register as early as possible and JHU affiliates can easily do so by visiting jhu.turbovote.org. If you have questions about your specific state, please feel free to reach out to HopkinsVotes@jhu.org or attend one of our Voter Tuesday Office Hours.

Last updated: Sep 18, 2020 12:10pm

What is TurboVote?

TurboVote is an online platform that JHU has partnered with to ensure every voter is registered and has the information they need to cast their ballot. Any personal information you submit, including your party affiliation, is not shared beyond the Hopkins Votes team. You can use TurboVote to access voter registration information, sign up for reminders, and request absentee ballots.

Last updated: Sep 17, 2020 11:58am

Where should I be registered?

Students can register to vote in either their home states or where they are living to attend college, but they cannot be registered in both locations. If you relocated to Baltimore for the fall semester, you will need to decide if you would like to register in Baltimore or your home state, and request an absentee ballot. Absentee ballot regulations vary based on where you live. Be sure to research your state’s required process. Regardless, you will have the right to vote in the state of your choosing, as long as you have a temporary or permanent residence there.

Last updated: Sep 18, 2020 12:11pm

What if I’m already registered to vote? Should I still sign up at TurboVote?

Yes. TurboVote does much more than just facilitate voter registration. The text and email election reminders and the vote-by-mail request forms are both very valuable services.

Last updated: Sep 17, 2020 11:59am

How will voting look during COVID-19? What is the safest way to vote?

Many states have adapted their voting regulations to adhere to public health guidelines. We suggest you update your information in TurboVote to ensure you have the most up-to-date information about your state’s requirements for absentee voting, vote-by-mail offerings, and early voting centers. You can access a guide to voting during COVID for each state here.

Last updated: Sep 17, 2020 12:00pm

What is the difference between absentee voting and voting by mail?

States vary in their offerings for residents to cast a ballot. We suggest you visit your state’s Board of Elections website to learn more about your ability to vote by mail, request an absentee ballot, or learn more about your polling location. Some states have started expanding absentee ballot eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic, sometimes referred to as voting by mail as it does not require one to be absent from the county.

Last updated: Sep 18, 2020 12:11pm

Do I have to change my driver’s license if I register to vote?

Not necessarily, though depending on your state, you may need to present an official document with your name and current address on it. If your address has changed, you may need to provide your polling location with documentation that verifies your change of address. In most states, this documentation can be a utility bill or paycheck with your current address on it. Check your state’s voter identification laws here.

Last updated: Sep 18, 2020 12:12pm

What are the requirements to vote?

The requirements for voting in local and federal elections vary by state, so students should check with their state election office to learn more. Most states, however, have similar requirements. All states except North Dakota require individuals to register to vote, and every state allows absentee voting. All voters must be at least 18 years of age, although some states make it possible for 17 year olds to vote in primary elections if their birthday falls before the general election. All voters must be U.S. citizens, but not all U.S. citizens are eligible to vote.

Last updated: Sep 18, 2020 12:12pm

How can I verify that I am registered to vote and that my voter record is correct?

To verify that you are registered to vote and that your voter record is correct, you can check your registration status or your state’s election office well in advance of your state’s voter registration deadline.

Many states allow you to view your ballot in advance of casting your vote. This provides an opportunity to research all of the candidates on your ballot so that you can make informed decisions. Ballot ReadyBallotpedia, and Vote411 are great sites to learn more about what is on your personal ballot outside of the presidential candidates prior to the election.

Last updated: Sep 18, 2020 12:12pm

I don’t live at the address on my driver’s license. Can I register at my new address?

Yes, you should re-register each time you move. You may register at your current address regardless of what address is on your driver’s license. But, failing to provide proper documentation as per the requirement of your state of residence may result in your inability to vote on that day.

Most states permit another government ID, paycheck, utility bill or bank statement, but some have more stringent requirements. Therefore if your current address does not match your driver’s license, you should do one of two things:

  • Register at your new address and check the ID and proof of residency requirements or with your state’s board of elections. You may need to get a new driver’s license.
  • Register at your home/parents’ address and vote by absentee ballot.

Last updated: Sep 18, 2020 12:13pm

I’m already registered to vote. How do I change my political party affiliation?

First, make sure there is still time to update your political party affiliation registration before your state’s deadline and the next election. To view the registration deadlines for your state, go to U.S. Vote Foundation , usa.gov or Vote411.org. 

Once you confirm if you have enough time prior to your state’s deadline, log into TurboVote to access the forms to update your political party affiliation, address or other personal details to submit to your local board of elections.

Last updated: Sep 17, 2020 12:05pm

Is Election Day a national holiday?

Election Day is not a national holiday. JHU does not have a policy for students regarding election day, but work with your professors to determine their policy. If you have a full class schedule on Nov. 3, make your plan to vote early in person or vote by mail. Faculty and staff are given 2 hours to vote on Election Day.

Last updated: Oct 6, 2020 11:27am

I am an international student, scholar, faculty member, researcher, or staff member. How can I participate in the American democratic process? How can I be involved in Hopkins Votes?

While U.S. citizens only are permitted to cast a ballot in the U.S. election, you can participate in the process by getting the word out about voting, encouraging others to sign up with TurboVote, and/or supporting a political candidate. You can also sign up to volunteer with Hopkins Votes.

Last updated: Oct 6, 2020 2:00pm

Updates from the Hub

Hopkins Votes
VOTER REGISTRATION WEEK
Hopkins Votes pivots to digital support
Published Sept 21, 2020
The nonpartisan initiative hosts weekly virtual office hours, provides resources for students, faculty, and staff as Hopkins ramps up efforts to encourage voter participation, engagement
Students vote at Johns Hopkins Absentee Ballot Party
#HopkinsVotes
Students get registered, ready for 2020 elections
Published Feb 17, 2020
Hundreds of students get guidance on how to register, how to submit absentee ballots at event hosted by Center for Social Concern