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After you've registered to vote, you still have to cast your ballot. Research has shown that making a voting plan massively increases the likelihood that you will follow through. How will you vote? Where will you vote? When will you vote? Answering these three questions is the best thing you can do to hold yourself accountable. Use your favorite reminder tool, like a journal or note-taking app, to record your plan.



There are multiple ways to vote, although details and deadlines vary, so be sure to learn the rules for your location. Decide which voting option makes the most sense for you. 



All states have the option to receive and send ballots by mail, but the rules differ by state. For example, some states (including California in 2020, because of the COVID-19 pandemic) automatically mail every registered voter a ballot. Other states require you to apply for a ballot, and some will only send them to people who meet certain criteria. Some states have provisions for absentee ballots to be dropped off at specific locations instead of being sent through the mail, and some don't. And so on. Look up the absentee voting rules for your state.

If you want an absentee ballot, make sure to have it sent to where you will be living during the election. The easiest way to change your address is to re-register through TurboVote.

Although most states accept mail-in votes up until Election Day, put your ballot in the mail as soon as possible. We recommend trying to send in your ballot by October 20th, 2020 for the 2020 Election to account for delays in the mail service.


Tresidder Union is a Santa Clara County Vote Center for the November 3rd election. Any eligible voter in Santa Clara County may vote in person or drop off their absentee ballot at the Tresidder (Oak Lounge) Vote Center from October 31st to November 3rd. The Vote Center's hours are:

  • October 31 to November 2: 9 AM to 5 PM daily.

  • November 3: 7 AM to 8 PM.  

Members of the public are allowed to access the Academic Campus Zone in order to visit the Vote Center, and free visitor parking will be provided.


If you plan to vote in person, please follow COVID-19 safety protocol, including maintaining appropriate physical distance and wearing a face covering, and check before you go to see if your location has made any changes in light of the pandemic.

Please be aware that it's against the law in California to try to persuade voters or to bring signs, flyers, or other election-related material within 100 feet of a polling place. And please leave your political hat or t-shirt at home. See Election Rules >




Whether you vote at Stanford, somewhere else in California, or in another state, we are here to help make it easy to cast your ballot and participate in the democratic process.

If you plan to vote in person, either on November 3rd or early, or if you plan to drop off your absentee ballot, knowing where you need to go is essential.


Tressider Union will be a Vote Center from October 31 through November 3rd. Other voting options for the campus community are:

  • Returning your ballot by mail. The campus post office is located at 531 Lasuen Mall, Stanford. Your ballot must be postmarked on or before November 3rd, and no stamp is required.  

  • Taking your ballot to the closest ballot drop box - go here to find a list of drop boxes close to Stanford​.


The address of your polling place is on the back page of the sample ballot booklet that your county elections official mailed to you. If you do not have the booklet, contact your county elections office, or call the Secretary of State's toll-free voter hotline at (800) 345-VOTE (8683).

In most cases, California voters are not required to show identification at their polling place. However, it is a good idea to bring identification with you when you vote for the first time. A poll worker may ask to see your identification if you mailed your voter registration application and did not include your driver license number, California identification number, or the last four digits of your Social Security number.

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We recommend taking the time to look up your polling place before November 3rd, so you can plan your schedule & transportation in advance of election day. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many states have changed their voting infrastructure, so we recommend taking the time to see if your local registrar's office has issued any information about changes to how you normally vote. Because of social distancing requirements, in-person voting may be slower this year, so make sure you allow plenty of time to vote at your polling place.



Even though Election Day is November 3rd, many states let you vote (whether in person, or by mail) as early as late September. Think about when you'll vote and add it to your calendar now.


Every state lets you vote on November 3rd, but you should still do some research to make sure that you'll have everything you need to vote. Some states have strict voter I.D. laws, so you should check to see what you'll need on Election Day in your state. You should also be prepared for long lines, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, so bring a snack in case you have to wait. Take a picture of yourself voting and post it to social media to encourage your friends to vote as well—but before you take that ballot selfie, check to see if it's legal in your state.


There are two ways to vote early: you can either vote by mail or (if you live in some states) in person. In every state, it is possible to vote by mail before the election, although states differ on what qualifications you must meet to do so. See the Vote by Mail section above to learn more.

In addition to allowing people to vote by mail, some states also have early in-person voting, which allows voters to cast a ballot at a polling place before Election Day. Depending on the state, those polling places may be everywhere from your county registrar's office to your local supermarket. Only some states, however, have "no-excuse early voting," which allows anyone to vote early, so you should check if you'll need a specific reason to vote before Election Day.