UC I DECIDE 2020: Information Guide for UCI Students


Below you will find common questions and answers about voting in the 2020 General Election! On campus, there will be a vote center at the UCI Student Center Ballrooms on the first floor, plus a ballot drop box in Mesa Court Lot 5. If you have any further questions, feel free to email ucidecide@asuci.uci.edu

FAQ: Voting By Mail

A mail ballot (or mail-in ballot) simply means that your ballot is sent to your home address so that you don’t have to vote in person. You still have the option of voting in person, as long as you didn’t also submit your mail ballot.

In CA, every registered voter will receive one automatically with a unique barcode– register to vote or check your status here. Other states may vary, learn more here

  1. Use a blue or black pen
  2. Bubble in each box completely
  3. Try to vote for federal, state, and local offices. If you don’t know one, you can learn more here. You won’t be penalized for skipping one though.
  4. Don’t get your ballot wet or rip it, this can affect the scanning process. If this happens, you can request a replacement ballot by contacting your local registrar of voters, contacts vary by county. 
  5. In some cases, first-time voters may be asked to include additional documentation. Send a photocopy of acceptable ID to your local registrar of voter’s office. 
  6. SIGNATURE!! On the envelope and anywhere else it asks (may vary). Try to use the same signature as your driver’s license or other government documents.
  7. Write the complete date (ie 10/19/2020 instead of 10/19/20).
  1. You can put it in any outgoing mailbox by Nov 3rd, though try to do it as soon as possible. Californians don’t even need postage stamps!
  2. You may also go to any ballot dropbox (there is one in Mesa Lot 5) that is picked up by the OC Registrar of Voters every day. 
  3. Or, you can drop it off at any in-person vote center and skip the line! Use this link to find the nearest locations to you. 

In CA, you can track your ballot just like an Amazon shipment. Just go to this link

Yes– voting by mail is incredibly safe. If you are concerned about your mail ballot, try to send it back as early as possible, or cast it at a ballot dropbox. You can also see when your mail vote is recorded at this link

Sure! The choice is yours, just be safe and wear a mask when voting. The lines may be a bit longer than usual so plan accordingly. If you have it, bring your mail ballot with you so they can void it properly. You can find the nearest vote center to you here.

This can seem scary, but no worries because there are several things you can do. Firstly, ask yourself the question: did I update my voter registration for my new address? And did I specify that I am updating my address?

  1. If NO → update your voter registration here (CA) for your new address. You have until Oct 19th. Be sure to input your previous address where it asks if you were previously registered. In about a week, you should get a new ballot and the old one will be automatically voided. 
  2. If YES → double-check your status here (CA). If it is correct, and you recently changed your address, no worries because your new ballot will be sent shortly and the old one will automatically be voided. If it is correct and you’ve had this address for a while, there may be an issue, contact your local registrar of voters (OC one is here). If it is incorrect, update your address by re-registering to vote here

For Californian voters abroad, go to this website. 

You can get a replacement ballot if you contact your local registrar of voters or election administrators. Contact links vary depending on your county. Alternatively, you can not submit your mail ballot and vote in person instead– bring your old ballot, if you can, to properly void it. 

The Secretary of State has established a toll-free Voter Hotline for requests for election materials and to report suspicions of voting or registration irregularities. The number is (800) 345-VOTE (8683).

If you still have questions, please contact ucidecide@asuci.uci.edu and I will try to respond as quickly as possible.

FAQ: General Voting

  • People ages of 18-35 make up the largest voting bloc in CA. [Source]
  • People ages of 18-35 make up the most diverse generation in CA. [Source]
  • Voting is one important, impactful way of creating change in your communities.
  • Voting in this general election is more than just voting for the next U.S. President; there are going to be 17 initiatives on the California ballot this year – all which address a variety of crucial issues.
  • The outcome of many local elections (city council, mayoral, state senator, state assembly, etc.) are often decided by less than 100 votes (smaller than the size of a lecture hall!).
  • The California Senatorial Race is going to be a historic election in California history.
  • This year, vote by the General Election on Tuesday, November 3, 2020. You are encouraged to vote by mail or vote early in-person if you have the means.

If you have already registered to vote in California, you may find your polling location by visiting this link: https://voterstatus.sos.ca.gov.

If you re-registered this year, you should have received a voter confirmation card in the mail and/or a voter information pamphlet with your polling location specified in the documents.

If you registered in a different state, you may find your polling location by viewing your county’s registrar. Not sure what county you live in? Simply enter your zip code with the U.S. Census Bureau or call the voter hotline at (800) 345-VOTE.

YES!These locations can process any Californian Voter:

  • UCI Student Center, Pacific Ballroom
    • Open Oct 30th through Nov 3rd at 8pm.
  • University Hills Community Center, 1083 California Ave.
    • Open Oct 30th through Nov 3rd at 8pm.
  • Ballot Drop Box Lot 5 in Mesa Court, ballots collected daily

If you prefer to vote in person at the polling location, please VERIFY that one of these addresses are your assigned polling location first. You may do so here: https://www.ocvote.com/registration/verify-your-voter-registration/

This varies by state! In California, you do not need an ID except for some first time voters. If this is the case for you, you may show any Student ID, Passport, Driver’s License, CA Real ID, a utility bill, or official election information mailed to you.

You are encouraged to vote by mail or to vote early! If you would like to vote in person, please wear a face mask and practice physical distancing, though the election administrators cannot prevent people from voting if they do not follow these guidelines. The Voting location will be using reusable pens and will regularly sanitize the equipment, but be sure to wash your hand afterwards and follow the guidance of poll clerks

To avoid lines, try to arrive right at the opening times when there will be less people.

FAQ: Voter Registration

You must be:

  • A citizen of the United States.
  • 18 years old or older on Election Day.
  • Not currently in prison or on parole for a felony conviction.
  • Varies by state!

If you are 16 or 17 years of age you can pre-register to vote, but you will not be able to vote in the upcoming November 3, 2020 Election.

If you are 17 years of age and will be 18 or older by November 3, 2020, you can register and vote in the General Election.
  • Register to vote online at registertovote.ca.gov/?t=s to help UCI win the Ballot Bowl Competition!
  • Process may vary by state, to learn about your local process, consult this page.

The deadline to register for the 2020 General Election is Monday, Oct 19th. If you missed this date, you may vote register to vote in California on Election Day, but this may take a bit longer to process.

If you are registered in California, you may check your voter registration status here: https://voterstatus.sos.ca.gov/.

If you are registered in a different state, go to www.google.com and search: “Check your voter registration status [insert your state name here].” Vote.org is a great resource as well!

Voter registration forms give you the option of registering with the:

  • American Independent Party (*note: registering with this party is not the same as being an Independent voter*)
  • Democratic Party
  • Green Party,
  • Libertarian Party
  • Peace and Freedom Party
  • Republican Party,
  • Or you may fill in your own party.

You also have have the option to select “No Party Preference” (i.e. to register as an Independent voter).

In the state of California, the Republican Party holds closed primaries, meaning that anyone who is not registered with the Republican Party cannot vote in the Republican primary. The Democratic Party does allow Independent voters to vote in the Democratic primary (along with registered Democrats), but Independents cannot vote for Democratic presidential candidates. This is not the case for the Presidential Election

  • Middle Earth: (Building #) E. Peltason Dr. (Room #)  Irvine, CA 92617
  • Mesa Court: (Building #) Mesa Rd. (Room #)  Irvine, CA 92617
  • Arroyo Vista: (Mailbox #) Arroyo Dr.  Irvine, CA 92617
  • Campus Village: (Building #) W. Peltason Dr.  Apt. (Apartment Letter)  Irvine, CA 92617
  • VDC: (Apartment Number) Arroyo Dr.  Irvine, CA 92617
  • VDC Norte: (Apartment Number) Arroyo Dr.  Irvine, CA 92617
  • Puerta del Sol: (Apartment Number) Adobe Cir.  Irvine, CA 92617
  • Camino del Sol: (Apartment Number) Arroyo Dr.  Irvine, CA 92617

No! It has not impact on financial aid or tuition, whether it be in-state or out of state.

This is an entirely personal decision, as long as you have a legitimate address where you live. Some online tools, like voterology.com can help you make an informed decision

Just be sure you can access your ballot by election day (Nov 3rd, 2020). So, if you are living on-campus, you should update your mailing address (and voting address if desired) for your dorm room.

You can do that! You can receive an absentee ballot by filling out the form here