Register to Vote!
Today is National Voter Registration Day, and I want to encourage every member of the Pacific University community to take this opportunity confirm that your voter registration is current.
Civic engagement is a cornerstone of our mission here at Pacific, and there is no more basic expression of civic engagement than voting. We know that Boxers take this responsibility seriously: Pacific is the only university in the state of Oregon with a Voter Friendly Campus designation, and our students vote at a higher rate than their peers and the general public.
The mid-term election is just seven weeks away, and our communities need to hear your voice. While presidential elections get a lot of attention, elections in mid-term years are incredibly important in ensuring we are well represented by our elected officials.
Voter turnout is typically lower in midterm election years, which means a smaller and less representative group of Americans could be making critical decisions about issues like education, housing, and criminal justice.
This year, 39 governors, including Oregon, California and Hawai‘i, will be on the ballot, along with impactful state and local office and ballot measures. All 435 seats in the House of Representatives, and 24 of the 100 seats in the Senate will be contested.
The Pacific University Tom McCall Center for Civic Engagement has developed resources and tools to help students (and employees) prepare to vote. Review the basics below, and find more information online at Pacific Votes. You also can email the McCall Center staff at firstname.lastname@example.org any time for one-on-one support. Maybe you are a new student who is unsure about voting in Oregon or your home state. Maybe you are an experienced voter with a unique situation, like traveling abroad or completing a practicum placement out of state this year.
At Pacific, we will never tell you how to vote — but we believe fiercely in democracy and helping every Boxer exercise their fundamental right to have their voice heard.
Jenny Coyle ’90, OD ’93, MS ‘00
Registering & Checking Your Registration
Oregon allows students a choice: vote here or as an absentee voter in another home state. It’s your choice! In either case, you’ll be voting by mail, so it’s critical that your registration and mailing address are correct. Visit BallotReady to check your registration, make a plan to vote, and research every name and measure on your ballot. Or, stop by the University Center between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. today, when McCall Center student volunteers will be available to get help you register and check your address.
Voting in Oregon
To register to vote in Oregon, you must be a U.S. citizen, resident of Oregon and at least 16 years old. (You can register at 16 but have to wait to vote until you’re 18). If you are registering for the first time, you’ll need your Oregon DMV number (from a license, permit or ID card) or the last four digits of your social security number. Register directly at OregonVotes or visit BallotReady to check your registration and do your research. You must be registered by Oct. 18 to vote in the Nov. 8 election.
Oregon votes by mail. Ballots will be mailed to the address you provide with your registration and must be returned by mail (postmarked by Nov. 8) or deposited in a ballot dropbox on or before Nov. 8.
Voting in Other States
If you plan to return home after college, or simply prefer to maintain another state as your primary residence, you can file an absentee ballot in your home state. Visit BallotReady to walk through the process.
Deadlines to register in other states vary, and many have an earlier registration deadline than Oregon. If you are voting absentee in another state, you also may need to return your ballot earlier than Nov. 8. Get the details and plan ahead at BallotReady!