College voters have a powerful voice. Hosting a voter registration drive on campus is the first step to gaining greater student representation and visibility in local, state and national politics.
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Print guide to voter registration drives
It doesn’t take much to host a voter registration drive, just remember these two essentials before you begin.
- Washington State voter registration forms
- Internet connection – Washington is one of the few states that offers online voter registration. MyVote is an easy tool to get registered, update your address, and check who your elected officials are and how to contact them.
Know the rules. Registering someone who is not eligible, such as an international student who is not a US citizen, or a Running Start student who is too young, could violate voter registration laws.
To be eligible to register, you must be:
- A citizen of the United States
- A legal resident of Washington State
- At least 18 years old by election day
- Not under the authority of the Department of Corrections
- Not disqualified from voting due to a court order
Freebies, such as buttons or stickers, and registration forms must be given to anyone who asks, regardless of their eligibility or intention to register or vote. You may never pay or bribe people to register.
Partisan materials cannot be handed out in state or public schools as part of a voter registration drive. Partisan groups may be part of the drive, as long as there is equal opportunity for participation.
As students submit their voter registration forms, check to make sure they filled in all the required information and signed at the bottom. Incomplete forms could lead to students not receiving their ballots.
You must return completed forms to your county elections department no later than five days after you receive them, or before the voter registration deadline (whichever is first). You may return them by mail or in person.
Check out our registration drive event ideas and remember these two easy tips.
- Don’t hide behind a table. Take an iPad, mobile device or clipboard around campus to spread the word.
- Use music, posters, sidewalk chalk… get creative! If you’re having fun, people will want in on the action.