Voter Registration and Engagement
The Institute for Civic Discourse and Democracy, along with all of the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge team at Kansas State University, encourages and supports you to engage as an active and informed citizen by voting in elections.
Voting is a fundamental act of civic participation through which people contribute to democracy. It is the opportunity for you to have a voice in what's happening in our communities, towns, cities, state, and nation.
While it’s one of the many ways that civic engagement can take place, it is a powerful way for people to make their voices heard and to have an impact on issues that affect them and their communities. Through voting, people can be influential and even decisive in shaping their individual and collective futures. Additionally, because elections happen everywhere, they are universal and regular opportunities for civic learning and engagement that can also serve as the gateway to other forms of participation in civic life.
Historically, young people have voted at lower rates than older adults. That may be starting to change. Research from the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University found that in 2018, youth turnout was the highest we have ever recorded for a midterm election, and young people's participation increased (compared to 2014) more than that of older voters. CIRCLE's research indicates that election systems and the preparation many young people receive (or fail to receive) to become informed voters are inadequate, leading to significant variations in voting rates by race/ethnicity, educational attainment, and other socioeconomic and demographic factors. When certain groups have more say in what happens in their communities and the nation, we fall short of the promise of our democracy.
This year, because of COVID-19, voting is no longer a simple process of going to one's polling place and casting a vote. It requires knowledge about various options for engaging in this vital democratic process. In a recent Pew Research Center poll, about two-thirds of Americans (65%) say the option to vote early or absentee should be available to any voter without requiring a documented reason and, given the current global pandemic, ICDD supports and encourages citizens to vote with an advance ballot. K-State ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge is committed to making accessible as much information as possible to ensure that each person who is able to vote is capable of voting safely and confidently. So how do you vote by mail? What the videos below to help you understand each step along the way.
Voting During COVID-19
Covid-19 risks the health of volunteer poll workers and in-person voters. It also threatens the resources of counties administering election-day polling stations. Given the volatility of disease spread and variability of election administration practices across the country, the K-State ALL IN Democracy Challenge community urges all K-State voters to check your registration EARLY and vote IN ADVANCE of election day - either by mail or walk-in. Know the deadlines for YOUR voting location.
Do you have questions about how to vote by mail? the Campus Election Engagement Project walks through the four Rs: register, request, read, and return. What the video below for details.
How Do I Vote by Mail?
Voting by Mail: Myths vs. Facts
Do you feel unsure about voting by mail? Have you heard from others this is not a safe and secure way to vote? Watch the video below to clarify unfounded myths about the security of voting by mail so you can better understand this process and, if necessary, clarify this important opportunity to vote with friends and family.
Voting Deadlines for Kansas
Below, you will find resources to understand voting trends at Kansas State University, how to register, and how to vote.
K-State Resources for Understanding Voter Engagement
ICDD is a contributor to the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge at Kansas State University, a means of preparing students, faculty, and staff for full participation in national elections. The university is one of over 1,000 other colleges and universities registered in the National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement (NSLVE), which issues reports of student voter participation in elections:
ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge Action Plan Kansas State University 2020
Election Imperatives 2020: A Time of Physical Distancing and Social Action
NSLVE Report Kansas State University 2014 and 2018
NSLVE Report Kansas State University 2012 and 2016
How to Register
If you want to register to vote in Kansas, you may use either of the following:
The Kansas Secretary of State online form uses the signature from your driver’s license to authenticate your application.
The nonpartisan website www.ksvotes.org offers a mobile-friendly app but employs a digital signature, which county election offices may have to compare with your driver’s license on file. If you choose to use this for registration, please sign carefully.