Frequently Asked Questions about Voting

Voting can be complicated. This page is dedicated to providing answers and/or guidance to some of the most commonly asked questions about the voting process. When in doubt, refer to this page or connect with your local elections office.

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How to Register to Vote

How do I register to vote at UCLA?

Online: Complete a voter registration through MyUCLA using the following link: https://myucla.it.ucla.edu/StudentWebMVC/app/bruinsvote

By Phone: To register to vote in the state of California via telephone, call (800) 481-VOTE, (800) 815-2666 Option 2.

How do I know if I am eligible to register to vote?

In order to register to vote you must be:

  • a citizen of the United States,
  • at least 18 years of age at the time of the next election,
  • not currently in state or federal prison or on parole for the conviction of a felony, and
  • not currently found mentally incompetent to vote by a court.

I’m a UCLA student but I’m not 18 years old yet. Can I register to vote?

If you are 16 or 17 years old, a United States citizen and a resident of California, you may pre-register to vote and you will become voter-eligible when you turn 18. Visit California's official voter registration website to pre-register.

I’m an undocumented student at UCLA. Can I register to vote?

Undocumented students are not citizens of the United States and are therefore ineligible to vote in elections. Undocumented students are advised not to register to vote and to support their chosen causes in other ways:

  • Become involved with the BruinsVote organization. 
  • Remind your friends to vote and engage in thought-provoking discussions.
  • Stay informed on U.S. political news and elections.
  • Engage with leaders and fellow community members in local town hall meetings.
  • Donate time and/or money to organizations and efforts that share your values.

If I register to vote, will I get called for jury duty?

The Los Angeles Superior Court draws names from many sources, including the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). An individual is more likely to be called for jury duty because of possessing a driver’s license than because of registering to vote.

I think I’ve registered before, but I can’t remember. How do I check my voter registration status?

Check your voter status online at California's voter status website.

When do I need to re-register to vote?

You can re-register to vote at any time, but it is especially important to re-register if any of the following has changed:

  • your name;
  • your signature;
  • your home or mailing address; or
  • your political party affiliation.

If I need to re-register to vote, is it the same process as registering for the first time, or is it different?

The process to update your voter registration is the same as registering for the first time.

Where You’re Registered

I live on campus at UCLA. What address should I use for voter registration?

The mailing address for all on-campus housing residents is:

[[Your full name registered with UCLA Housing]]
330 De Neve Dr.
[[Your building name]] [[Your room number]]
Los Angeles, CA 90024

Visit the "On-Campus Addresses" page to learn more.

I’m an incoming freshman at UCLA, but I’m not moving to campus yet. Should I register to vote in my home county or in LA County?

If a UCLA student has never lived in LA County and will not be living in LA County during the election, they should register where they will be living or consider their home on Election Day. 

I’m registered at my hometown address, but I want to vote while I’m at UCLA. Do I need to re-register to vote at UCLA?

All students are free to register to vote in whichever county they choose, but we encourage UCLA students to be actively engaged in their current community by registering to vote in Los Angeles County.

Registering as an LA County voter provides key advantages to UCLA students: relevant voting materials are guaranteed to arrive on time where they live, and they are able to vote conveniently at a Vote Center on campus.

If a student wishes to remain registered at their family’s permanent address in their hometown, we recommend the following:

  • select the "Vote-by-Mail" option in their voter registration form at least 30 days before the next election;
  • change the mailing address on their voter registration form to their address here at UCLA (see your on-campus housing address here); and
  • check their physical mailbox frequently to ensure they’ve received their Vote-by-Mail materials.

I’m registered to vote in a state other than California, and I want to vote in that state’s election while I’m at UCLA. Where do I find voter registration information for my state?

If you do not want to register to vote at your UCLA address, you can register to vote outside of California by using StudentVote.org or the University of California's voter registration tool.

Visit the Campus Vote Project or Plan Your Vote to find voter registration information specific to your state.


What is Vote-by-Mail?

Vote-by-Mail, sometimes known as VBM and previously known as absentee voting, is a voting method available to voters in all 50 states, although access varies from state to state.

Voters who receive a Vote-by-Mail ballot are able to cast an official vote by filling out their ballot at home, then either mailing in that ballot through the U.S. Postal Service or dropping off that ballot at an official ballot drop off box or at an official state polling place.

Voters in the state of California will automatically receive a Vote-by-Mail ballot as long as they are registered by the deadline.

How do I Vote-by-Mail?

Read more about the Vote-by-Mail process on the California Secretary of State website.

For Vote-by-Mail policies and requirements in other states, visit the Campus Vote Project or Plan Your Vote.

I’m a registered voter in California. How and when do I send in my Vote-by-Mail ballot to be officially counted?

Any California voter who has their Vote-by-Mail materials in hand can mail in their ballot through the U.S. Postal Service as soon as it is completed, sealed and signed. Find your nearest post office.

California voters can also drop off their Vote-by-Mail ballot at an official Vote-By-Mail drop box. Visit the Secretary of State’s office to find your nearest drop box location.

Additionally, California voters may drop off their Vote-by-Mail ballot at a polling place or Vote Center, which may open as early as 11 days before Election Day. Visit the Secretary of State’s office to find your nearest polling place or Vote Center.

UCLA will have a Vote-by-Mail drop box and multiple Vote Centers. Learn more about voting at UCLA.

Vote-by-Mail ballots must be postmarked by Election Day in order to be counted.

How do I track my Vote-by-Mail ballot?

Registered voters in California can track their ballot by visiting BallotTrax.

For Vote-by-Mail ballot tracking in other states, check out the Campus Vote Project or Plan Your Vote.

I never received my Vote-by-Mail ballot. Can I still vote?

Registered voters in LA County can still vote in person at an official Vote Center. If you are not yet registered to vote, you will need to register on the spot through a process called Conditional Voter Registration (CVR).

Find your closest poll center on the official CA Secretary of State website.

Voting in Person

I’m registered to vote in California. How do I vote early at a polling place?

Go to this link to find out more information on your respective California county and if Early Voting is an available option for you: https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/voting-resources/county-elections-offices/

How do I vote in person at UCLA?

UCLA will host three Vote Centers for the March 5, 2024 Presidential Primary Election. Visit this page to learn more about the Vote Centers at UCLA.

I missed the voter registration deadline. Can I still vote?

If you are eligible to vote and have access to a Vote Center, you will be able to register or re-register to vote on the spot—including at the Vote Centers at UCLA—through a process called Conditional Voter Registration (CVR). This process will allow you to cast a provisional ballot that will be counted once your conditional registration is verified.

I registered to vote using my UCLA on-campus housing address, but I’ve since moved to a different home address in LA County. What happens if I try to vote in person at an LA County Vote Center?

If you’re an LA County voter who’s moved to a different part of the county since the last time you registered to vote, you can still vote at any Vote Center within LA County. However, you will receive a ballot assigned to your last registered voter’s address when you check in at the LA County Vote Center.

If your home and mailing addresses are not updated by the voter registration deadline, you might not be able to access the ballot measures and candidates that are most relevant to you. To vote with a ballot assigned to your new home address, you are welcome to complete a Conditional Voter Registration (CVR) and fill out a provisional ballot.

I’m registered to vote outside of LA County. Where do I find my polling place?

California voters registered outside of LA County can find their polling place at the California Secretary of State’s website.

Voters registered in a state other than California can visit the Campus Vote Project or Plan Your Vote to find voter information specific to their state.

I am a UCLA staff employee. Do I get time off to vote?

If you are a non-exempt staff employee scheduled to work at least eight hours on Election Day and do not have sufficient time outside of your normal working hours to vote, University policy allows you to take up to two hours of paid leave at the beginning or end of your regular work shift. Employees who know or have reason to believe that time off to vote will be necessary must inform their supervisors as soon as possible and no later than two working days before Election Day. For more information, please see section III.E.3. of PPSM-2.210: Absence from Work.

More Information

Where can I obtain more information about voter registration, voting, and elections? 

Additional information can be accessed at every level of community and government through the following websites:

City of Los Angeles

Los Angeles County

State of California

United States

How do I get involved with political and social activist organizations at UCLA?

UCLA has a host of political and social activist organizations on campus. For more information on all of UCLA’s Registered Campus Organizations (RCOs), visit UCLA's student organization directory.

Additionally, UCLA/the UC have non-partisan organizations which focus on civic engagement:

Why does the University of California get involved in voter registration?

The 1998 reauthorization of the federal Higher Education Act and the State of California Donahoe Higher Education Act include a requirement that higher education institutions make a "good faith effort" to make mail voter registration forms available to all enrolled students. This federal and state legislation supports the campus’s long-standing goals of engendering leadership and citizenship among the student body.

With the passage of California Senate Bill No. 854-Chapter 481, state-funded higher education institutions - community colleges, the California State University system, and University of California campuses - are required to allow students to request voter registration materials online through a link in their course registration system. As a result of this legislation, UCLA students are able to link to an online voter registration application from the myUCLA system at the same time they are searching and registering for classes. The voter registration link allows students to complete the voter registration process online as long as they possess a California driver’s license or identification card number.

In September 2016, a Memo of Understanding was signed between CA Secretary of State Alex Padilla and University of California President Janet Napolitano which outlines actions each UC campus is to take in order to encourage voter registration, election education, and voter turnout by students.

Read the press release for more information on the Memorandum of Understanding.