With high political tensions in both local and national spheres, the upcoming election is weighing heavily on the minds of many. For the many NVU students who are residents of Vermont, there are a number of easy and accessible options available to register to vote.
For out of state students, this process will likely be different. For more information, out of state students can visit vote.gov which has information regarding every state’s registration process. If your home state has online registration, the page will even link you to the form.
For students who are Vermont residents, the rest of the article will outline your three options on getting registered to vote. Links to necessary webpages are included at the bottom of the article.
Go to the Vermont secretary of state website and navigate to the voter registration page by clicking on “Elections” in the top navigation bar and then “Registration” under the “Voter Resources” section. From here, you’ll be presented with a few choices on how you can register.
The options available are in person, by mail, or online. In order to register remotely, you’ll need evidence of your identity and residence in Vermont. You do not need such identification if you register in person at a town clerk.
The secretary of state website lists “valid photo ID (driver’s license or passport), current utility bill, current bank statement, another government document containing your residential address,” as acceptable forms of ID. Whichever you use, it must clearly show your name and address.
In Person Registration
To find information on in-person registration, you should contact your town clerk’s office. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many town offices may not be open to the public. Contact information can be found by clicking on the “At Clerk’s Office” button on the SOS voter registration page.
Clicking on “Paper” from this page will bring you to a pdf you can download and print for mail registration. Fill out the form and make a copy of your ID. This can be done with the help of the library staff since the copiers are unavailable to students due to COVID-19.
Once you’ve filled out the form and copied your ID, mail them both to your town clerk. Mailing addresses for all Vermont town clerks can be found by clicking the “At Clerk’s Office” option on the voter registration page.
You can use this same document to find contact information for your town clerk to check on your registration, as well as request a mail-in ballot.
To register to vote online, click the “Online” button on the secretary of state voter registration page. This will take you to the online voter registration page.
If you have a Vermont driver’s license, you can register with your license number. If you don’t, you can still register using the last four digits of your social security number. Select the appropriate option to be taken to the registration form. For the first page, check all three boxes to affirm they are true, and hit continue.
On the next page, select your town of residence where you’ll be registering to vote. After this, fill in your personal information and hit continue. It’s recommended to include your email address, as it will be the easiest way for your town clerk to contact you about your voter registration.
On the next page, you’ll fill in your residential and mailing addresses. For residential address, enter the address of your home in the town where you’re registering to vote.
If you’re a first-time voter, you can safely ignore the next page, which is mostly for people who are updating their registration. On the final page, ensure all of your information as it appears is correct. If you’re registering for the first time, this is when you’ll need to upload an approved form of ID.
Students can take a picture of a valid ID with their phones and send it to themself to complete registration on a computer, or they could even complete registration entirely on their mobile device.
If a student doesn’t have access to a phone that can take pictures, the campus library is able to scan documents for students from 8a.m.-4p.m.
Once the file has been uploaded, check off the last few boxes and submit your application. You should receive an email confirming your registration, and once your town clerk processes your registration, you can sign up for a mail-in ballot.
Requesting a Mail-in Ballot
You can contact your town clerk’s office to request a mail-in ballot, or you can request it online through the Vermont secretary of state website.
The online form to request a Mail-In ballot can be found once the town clerk has confirmed your registration. From the SOS voter registration page, click on the “My Voter Page” link then sign in using the form on the right side of the page.
Click on the button on the right that says, “Go to My Voter Page,” at which point you should see a box labeled “Absentee Ballot Request Information.” At the bottom of this section, there is a link to a form to request your absentee ballot.
Fill in the form by either selecting a range of dates to receive ballots for, or simply select which upcoming elections you plan to vote in. Make sure you check to include federal/statewide elections.
After this, select your voter type. If you don’t know your voter type, you’re probably just a civilian voter. Provide an address for your ballot to be sent to, such as your NVU mailbox, and submit the form.
Your request will be forwarded to your town clerk, and they will send an absentee ballot to the address you’ve provided once the election gets closer. You can see the status of your ballot request on your voter page.
National voter registration database: https://vote.gov/
Vermont secretary of state website: https://sos.vermont.gov/
Vermont voter registration page: https://sos.vermont.gov/elections/voters/registration/
Vermont online voter registration form: https://olvr.vermont.gov/
Vermont voter information page: https://mvp.vermont.gov/