In 2020, the combination of Millennials and Gen Z could succeed the Baby Boomers to become the largest eligible voter group in the U.S. But even if it’s not your first time voting, it’s understandable if this year you have questions about casting your ballot. To help students feel fully empowered to exercise their right to vote—even during the pandemic—here are five tips for an easier Election Day.
Tip 1 – Vote Early By Mail
Yes, Tuesday, Nov. 3 is Election Day, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait until then. In 2013, Colorado adopted the practice of sending ballots to every registered voter during statewide elections, so mail-in voting is pretty familiar territory for us. On Oct. 9, voters in the state began receiving their 2020 ballots, and ballots can be delivered to ballot drop boxes up until 7 p.m. on Election Day. Ballots returned by mail must be received by Election Day—which does not mean postmarked by Election Day—so leave plenty of time for mail processing. If you wait until closer to Election Day to return your ballot, it’s best to use a ballot drop box and save yourself the postage.
Update: The date for mail-in has passed, so if you haven’t voted, drop your ballot in a drop box.
Tip 2 – In-Person Voting Is Still an Option, Too
In-person voting is still happening, despite the pandemic. Additionally, in-person voting is not limited to Election Day, either. Beginning on Oct. 19, in-person vote centers open around Denver. There’s even one inside the Tivoli Student Union. Hours and locations throughout Denver are searchable here.
Tivoli Voting Hours:
- Oct. 19 — 30 from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m.
- Oct. 31 from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.
- Nov. 2 from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m.
- Nov. 3 from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.
- Location: Turnhalle
Tip 3 – Haven’t Registered? Don’t Worry, But Don’t Procrastinate
Colorado offers same-day voter registration at in-person polling centers. You can register and vote up until 7 p.m. on Election Day (Nov. 3), but just like with your coursework, it’s better if you don’t procrastinate. If you prefer to stay home, you have until Oct. 26 to register online and receive a mail-in ballot. You can also use the link to update your address if you’ve moved.
If you’re unsure about your voter registration status, you can check via www.GoVoteColorado.gov. Colorado has automatic voter registration that occurs whenever you sign up for certain government services. So, if you received or renewed your Colorado driver’s license, it’s probable that you also registered to vote then, too.
Tip 4 – Don’t Let Your Right to Vote Go to Waste
In 2016, fewer than half of Americans 18 to 29 voted in the presidential election. But in 2020, 63% of young adults said they definitely plan to vote in November. While an improvement, it still means that roughly a third (!) of eligible young voters could ignore their opportunity to contribute to and shape society. Your vote matters. You should always exercise your right to decide who represents you in decisions that directly impact your life.
Tip 5 – Whatever the Result, Remember We Are a Community
We are Lynx Strong. No matter our individual political leanings, to succeed together we must support one another on our campus and in our broader communities. To address the challenges of 2020, it will take combined strength and collective knowledge. Through unity, we can make 2021 better and safer for all of us.
Following the election, there will be multiple opportunities for students to discuss the results: