All students who are U.S. citizens should be registered to vote. If you are living on campus, register to vote on campus as early voting is the most accessible and best way to make sure your vote is counted. Here is where you can register to vote online: https://www.ncsbe.gov/Voters/Registering-to-Vote

Public safety and democracy are both being tested at the moment. Citizens need to protect both. That said, we strongly encourage students who are registered at Duke to vote on campus during the early voting period, which begins October 15th. The early voting site on Duke’s campus is located at the new Duke Karsh Alumni Center. Voting in person is the very best way to make sure that there are no problems with your registration and that your vote is counted in a timely fashion.  Unfortunately, many absentee ballots by mail may not be counted in a timely fashion or at all this year because citizens either do not put the correct postage on the letter, do not have the correct signatures on the letter, or will be relying on a slowed down U.S. mail service.

If you are registered to vote at Duke, your plan should also include requesting an absentee ballot by mail. We encourage students to do so as there is the possibility they will be sent home before early voting begins. You can request an absentee ballot by mail and then vote in person with no penalty or problem, as long as you don’t vote twice – a felony.  For those already registered in North Carolina, whether in Durham or at a home address elsewhere in the state, we encourage NC voters to request an absentee ballot by mail. Here is the link that explains how to do so: https://s3.amazonaws.com/dl.ncsbe.gov/Outreach/Absentee/FAQs_Absentee_Voting_2020_FINAL.pdf

Consider serving as a poll worker if you are residing in North Carolina this election cycle. This would be great if you live in Durham — where we need 250 younger poll workers alone — or if you are home in another part of the state where the needs may be even greater. Here is where you can access the info to be trained. You would get paid 200 dollars for working election day and it could make a big difference:https://www.ncsbe.gov/get-involved

We also encourage all faculty to share this information with their students and also to invite them to participate in a creative election project, the “Why Vote Challenge”, co-sponsored by the Hart Leadership Program and POLIS at Sanford. The competition asks our students to create a 30 second PSA aimed at persuading peers not inclined to vote to do so this fall. Submissions are due October 8th with winners announced October 15th the first date of early voting. The PSA has served as an excellent assignment in many classes this past spring. Or professors might include it as an extra credit assignment in their syllabi. You can find information about the competition at the following website: https://hart.sanford.duke.edu/30-second-voting-video-competition/

Contact Prof. Gunther Peck for further information.