Political engagement is a critical part of being civically engaged in your community. This can take many forms, including voting, staying informed on political issues, joining a political party, canvasing for an issue or candidate, and more. CEL offers voter registration programming, election celebration events, and a new political engagement workshop for student groups and classes. We held an election watch party for the 2018 midterm elections and will announce any additional events below. Learn more below!

Oregon Voter Information

Oregon is a vote-by-mail state! This means that once you're registered to vote, your ballot will be mailed to the address you're registered with. Here are the basics for what you need to know as a voter:

  • How to Register: You can register online! You can also mail in a voter registration form or register in person at your local county elections office.
  • Age Requirements: Oregon residents who are US citizens can register to vote at 16 years old and begin voting at 18 years old.
  • Who Is a Resident: If you have a residential address in Oregon, you are considered a resident. Residential addresses can be your house, apartment, or dorm. It can be your OSU address or your home address, depending where you want to vote. Some of these forms of IDs must be used to register in person rather than by mail or online.
  • Valid IDs for Registering: You need a valid ID to register. Valid IDs include a photo identification like a driver's licenses or a paycheck stub, utility bill, bank statement, or government document with your name and address.
  • Automatic Registration: When you fill out a driver's license application or vehicle registration, you're automatically registered to vote unless you opt out.
  • Deadlines: You must register to vote or change your address 21 days prior to an election. This includes requesting absentee ballots if you're studying abroad or if you'd like your ballot mailed to a different address than where you're registered.
  • Home vs. College Addresses: You can use your home or college address to vote. If you use your home address, you can request your ballot be mailed to your college address online. This is considered your mailing address, not your residential address.
  • Returning Your Ballot: You can mail in your completed ballot or drop it off at an official ballot dropbox. You should mail ballots a week before the election day and use a stamp. Ballots received via mail after election day will not be counted. If you use a dropbox, you must submit by 8 pm on election day and do not need a stamp. Be sure you sign the back of your ballot envelope either way! There is an official dropbox in the OSU Valley Library.
  • Lost Ballots: If you lose your ballot, contact your county elections office to request a replacement.
  • Voter Information: You will receive a voter information packet in the mail in advance of election day that outlines all your ballot options.
  • Criminal Justice & Voter Eligibility: People serving misdemeanor sentences in county jails and those on parole or probation are eligible to vote. People serving sentences for a felony are not eligible to vote during the sentence. After incarceration for a felony, you are again eligible to vote but must re-register.

Register to Vote Find a Dropbox Elections Offices Student Voters More Information

Oregon Election Dates

  • 10.15.19: Voter Registration & Address Change Deadline (21 days before election)
  • 10.30.19: Deadline to mail ballot (Can use drop boxes through election day)
  • 11.5.19: National Election (Ballots due by 8 pm)

Out-of-State Voter Information

While the national election day will be the same for all US states, local elections, how to register to vote, and how to vote all vary by state. For a great state-by-state guide for students with instructions for how to register and request your ballot, visit the Campus Vote Project student voter guides site. If you have an Oregon residential address, such as in a dorm, apartment, or house, you can also choose to register in Oregon!

OSU TurboVote

Political Engagement Beyond Voting

  • Pick Your Top Issues: There are hundreds of important issues, but it is impossible for one person to address them all! Pick a few issues that matter to you most to focus on.
  • Identify Your Talents: Make a list of your talents and strengths to determine how best you can support your causes.
  • Create Your Action Plan: With your top issues and list of talents, create an action plan for yourself.

Source: Cougs Vote Active Citizenship Guide, Washington State University Center for Civic Engagement

  • Read: Educate yourself by reading and taking classes.
  • Research: Find out who your representatives are and take time to research your issues.
  • Follow: Like/follow social media pages for organizations you support.
  • Listen: Attend meetings or events for groups to learn.
  • Discuss: Share news and thoughts with your friends, family, and colleagues.
  • Train: Take advantage of trainings that will help you be a better ally.

Source: Cougs Vote Active Citizenship Guide, Washington State University Center for Civic Engagement

  • Vote: Register to vote and vote in every election.
  • Live Your Values: Avoid products that conflict with your causes.
  • Donate: If you can, donate to causes that you support.
  • Wear Your Cause: When you can, wear buttons, stickers, and shirts that share your cause.
  • Write Your Reps: Write to and call your representatives to share your opinions.
  • Write to the Newspaper: Write to your local newspaper about what current issues are important to you and why.

Source: Cougs Vote Active Citizenship Guide, Washington State University Center for Civic Engagement

  • Attend Events: Attend rallies, protests, and events to show your support.
  • Attend Meetings: Attend local meetings like city council meetings and town hall meetings.
  • Join Local Groups: Join student and community groups that align with your passions.
  • Share Literature: Help spread the messages of groups you’re a part of or support by carrying their literature with you so you can share it.
  • Register Voters: Help register others to vote.
  • Volunteer: Volunteer with organizations that align with your top issues.

Source: Cougs Vote Active Citizenship Guide, Washington State University Center for Civic Engagement

  • Work: Look for internships and jobs that align with the issues you’re passionate about.
  • Leadership: Become leader and organizer for groups you’re a part of or start your own.
  • Run for Office: Become involved in politics by running for office.

Source: Cougs Vote Active Citizenship Guide, Washington State University Center for Civic Engagement

  • Self-Care: Lastly, take time out for self-care when you need it. You can spend time with friends/family, do something special that you enjoy, or read a good book, for example.

Source: Cougs Vote Active Citizenship Guide, Washington State University Center for Civic Engagement