How to Register to Vote

The 2018 midterm elections will be held on Tuesday, November 6, 2018. You’ve probably already heard time and time again how important voting is, this year more than ever. This isn’t a presidential election, so turn-out is going to be lower across the board, but that doesn’t make this election less important. The entire House of Representatives has to run, part of the Senate, and of course, there are state and local races as well.

There’s always buzz about how college students aren’t as likely to vote. This article from the New York Times cites the statistic that less than half of eligible college students voted in 2016. One of the biggest reasons why college students have low turnout is that they don’t the process of how to vote. Here’s some information about how you can vote this year in Minnesota.

The deadline to register online is October 16, but you can still register in-person on election day if you have proof of address. Still, registering online is very easy. Go to this website and follow their instructions.

You can register with your permanent address if you’re from Minnesota, or register with your school address. Even if you’re from out of state, you can still vote here in Minnesota. As long as you can provide an address here that you’ve lived in for more than 20 days, you’re all good!

If you want to vote in your home state, you can get an absentee ballot to send in by mail. You can look that up depending on what state you’re from, but here is a good resource to start with. This is especially crucial if you’re from a swing district! Swing districts are competitive races that could swing either red or blue depending on the year. The district on campus will almost certainly be blue. The district where you’re from might be deep blue as well, or it could be deep red. But if the race in your House District is a toss-up, it’s more important to lend your support to the side you support there.

Even if you’re studying abroad this semester, you can still vote absentee whether it’s in Minnesota or your home state. Check it out here.

To register online here in Minnesota, you’ll need either your Minnesota driver’s license or the last six digits of your social security number. As long as you have one of those things and an address, registering online is super simple.

If you’re worried about finding your polling place on election day, you can look it up on this site. Polls are generally open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and they won’t be far from where you live. For instance, I live in Dinkytown and my polling place is a church about two blocks from my apartment building. When I lived on West Bank, it was Augsburg College. Having the time to get there hopefully shouldn’t be a worry.

If it is a big concern, you can always vote early. Early voting is already available, and you can go here to apply to get a ballot in the mail.

No matter who you’re voting for this November, turnout is crucial. If you don’t want another forty-thousand think pieces on how useless and uncaring millennials are, you need to get out there and prove that wrong. No matter how you feel about politics, voting is one of the most important ways we can have an impact on what the future of the country will look like. So make sure you’re registered and get out there on Election Day!