Election Resources and FAQs

General Election FAQs

What are key dates for Election Day? 

Voter Registration

  • October 19, 2020: Last date for you to register to vote online or postmarked in mail.
    In the state of CA, you can register to vote on Election day.
  • After the 19th: You will need to register to vote in person WITH proof of residency at a Secretary of State branch or with the local clerk

Mail-in Ballots

  • October 5, 2020: All registered CA voters will begin to receive a Mail-in-Ballot.
  • To request a California mail-in ballot, print and mail this form by October 27th.
  • October 27, 2020:  Recommended deadline to return your ballot.
  • November 3, 2020: Deadline for vote by mail postmarked by date.


  • November 2, 2020: In person absentee ballot deadline
  • Election Day is November 3, 2020. Poll places will be open Oct. 31 to Nov. 3.


Where can I Get Informed?

  • The League of Women Voters website vote411.org provides nonpartisan tips for navigating the ballot and is customized by current address

  • All things election in one place! The All IN TO VOTE web-based tool for students to check and update their registration status, register to vote online, find their polling place, request an absentee ballot, sign up for election reminders, vote triple (share link with contacts), review what information will be on the ballot, and pledge to vote.  Visit allintovote.org

  • Voter’s Edge is a comprehensive, nonpartisan online guide to federal, state, and local elections. Voters can get in-depth information on candidates, measures, and who supports them, see candidate biographies, top priorities, photos, policy videos, endorsements, etc. www.votersedge.org

  • Wondering who to vote for this election? Presidential or Congressional, use Project Vote Smart’s interactive online tool called Easy Vote to compare your stance on 13 issues to those of presidential candidates.   voteeasy.votesmart.org/electionChoice

  • Check out the California Official Voter Information Guide

  • Check out the County of San Luis Obispo Voter Information Guide

  • If you’re not a California voter, check out Ballotpedia’s nationwide lookup tool

  • Most state and county election boards have PDF sample ballots. Visit your Local Election Boards

  • Seek out endorsements of candidates and issues from organizations that share your views


What if I am not eligible to vote?


Can't Vote? Here's How You CAN Help!

  • Help Get Out the Vote
  • Be a Watchdog, go to hearings
  • Hold your Own Hearings (Educate yourself first then engage others)
  • Organize Your Block or Building
  • Volunteer at a polling site


Can I register to vote online? 

Yes, you can register to vote online at the California Registrar of Voters website.

Visit Vote.gov to register to vote. Depending on your state’s voter registration rules, the site can help you.

How do I register for a mail-in ballot?

To request a California mail-in ballot, print and mail this form by October 27th.

You can also get the Voter Registration Form by calling the San Luis Obispo Elections Office at (805) 781-5228 or 1(800)345-VOTE (8683) to have a form sent to you.

Lean about the Governor's Executive Order for everyone to receive a Mail Ballot.

When is the last day to register to vote?

 The last day to register to vote in California is October 19.

If you live out of state, check the Rock the Vote's Election Center guide to find out your state's voter registration deadline.


What if I am not sure where I am registered to vote, how can I check it?

In California, you can check your registration status online at voterstatus.sos.ca.gov.

If you live out of state, check the Rock the Vote's Election Center guide to find out your state's voter registration deadline.

Do I need to re-register if I've moved back home from school due to the pandemic?

Yes, if you recently moved, changed your name or want to change your political party, you need to re-register to vote. You do that by completing a new voter registration application. The Registrar of Voters office will recognize only your most recent registration, so you don’t need to cancel your previous registration unless you are moving out of the county.

Will I receive a Voter Notification Card to confirm I am registered to vote?

Yes. Within two to four weeks after registering or re-registering to vote, you will receive your Voter Notification Card in the mail. Review this card to ensure your information (political party preference, mail ballot voter status and address) is entered correctly.

What if I need to cancel my registration?

If you are moving to another county or state, you may cancel your local registration here. You may also use this form to cancel the registration of someone who has passed away.

Campaign Activity for Faculty and Staff FAQs

With the upcoming election, it is important that all faculty and staff comply with state law and CSU policy regarding the use of CSU resources in connection with election issues. CSU policy regarding what election-related activities are allowed and what activities can be prohibited, as well as guidelines on how to exercise appropriate discretion, are set forth in the CSU Handbook of Election Issues published by the Office of the General Counsel.

As a state employee, can I still engage in campaign activity? 

  • Absolutely. Employees retain their rights to engage in private political activities. All employees are entitled to make statements in support of a particular candidate, political party, ballot initiative, etc., but must do so in an individual capacity. 

  • Activity should be on the employee’s own time, it should not be performed in an official capacity with the Cal Poly, and should not utilize any Cal Poly resources. 

  • Employees should minimize any possibility of confusion of private role versus Cal Poly role, and they should not wear a Cal Poly logo while engaging in political activity. 

How can faculty support students' civic engagement? 

  • Make a Canvas announcement to encourage voting— Include information about voting and civic engagement in your syllabus/Canvas site

  • Consider the timing of exams on Election Day and/or consider suspending class

  • Include framing language in your syllabus/Canvas site, such as: 

In a democracy, a government is chosen by voting to elect representatives to make policy and enforce laws while representing the citizens. Cal Poly encourages eligible students to exercise their right to vote, and students of all citizenship backgrounds to actively engage in issues of public concern. When more people participate, a broader array of perspectives is represented in policies and laws that impact our country, society, and the world. You can register to vote here.

  • Share voting resources with your students like this webpage or ASI’s webpage

  • Campus Election Engagement Project (CEEP) offers a guide to Incorporating Election Engagement into Your Courses (PDF available here) with additional strategies to engage your students.

  • Remember, Cal Poly students hail from all over the world, and while students who are U.S. citizens are eligible to vote in California, many will choose to vote in their home state 

  • Share your own voting plan about when and where you will vote

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