Register to Vote
If you have any questions about the voting process, stop by the Civic Engagement Office for help.
To get started, make sure you are registered to vote. Check your registration by state.
We encourage our students to be educated voters. Vote411 has up to date information about election dates, registration deadlines, poll locators, and candidate information based on the voting address you enter. As candidate information becomes available, you can also check right here under “Upcoming Elections” to get information on local, regional, state, and national candidates for upcoming elections.
You can fill out an absentee ballot in order to vote as a representative from your hometown or home county. You can only vote via absentee ballot if you have a legitimate reason that you are unable to vote in person on election day, such as attending college.
Stop by the Civic Engagement Office to fill out an Absentee Ballot Request Form at least two months prior to the election.
In Iowa, to register to vote online, you must have an Iowa driver’s license and will be registered at the address on your license. If you have an out-of-state license or want to register with your Cornell address rather than the address on your license, please stop by the Civic Engagement Office. We have paper registration forms with directions and can get the ballots mailed in for you.
If you are trying to register to vote past the registration deadline (including day of election registration), please contact the Civic Engagement Office because the process has additional steps.
If you are registered to vote based on your Cornell College address, your voting location is:
St. John the Baptist Catholic Church
212 S 7th St SE.
Unless you live in Wilch. Your voting location is:
Mount Vernon City Hall
213 1st St NW.
Iowa is one of the few states that runs a caucus rather than a primary for Presidential Elections. What is a caucus? That is a great question! Here is your resource to understanding the caucus and how to participate during Presidential Election cycles.
A caucus is a local meeting that is financed and managed by the two major political parties (Democrat and Republican). At the caucus, registered party members (you cannot be registered undecided, you must register within a specific party) come together to discuss and express support for their candidate. Each party runs the caucus a little differently. In the most recent caucus, Republicans case a secret ballot for their preferred candidate while Democrats physically grouped themselves around the room based on the candidate they support. It is important to note that participants are not picking the candidate themselves but rather choosing delegates who will represent their vote at the next convention level.
Read chapter three of Why Iowa? How Caucuses and Sequential Elections Improve the Presidential Nominating Process by David P. Redlawsk, Caroline J. Tolber, and Todd Donovan. This chapter provides more information on the rules of a caucus in Iowa, the history of the Iowa caucus, and the purpose of the caucus.
For the most up to date list of upcoming elections in Linn County, Iowa, and Nationally, visit the Iowa Secretary of State Website.
June 05, 2018 - County, State, and Federal Offices (Primary Election)
This election can include filling open positions for U.S. Senator, U.S. Representative, Governor and Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Auditor of State, Treasurer of State, Secretary of Agriculture, Attorney General, State Senator, State Representative, County Supervisor, County Attorney, County Treasurer, and County Recorder.
November 06, 2018 - County, State, and Federal Offices (General Election)
If you are registered to vote out of state and would like to maintain that voting address, you will likely vote via absentee ballot. Absentee ballots are provided for voters who are unable to vote in person on election day due to physically being away from their polling place.
To learn more about voting out of state while you are residing in Iowa, please check the Campus Vote Project website. This site allows you to look at voter information based on state and will provide you registration deadlines, how to register, and how to vote (in person or via absentee ballot). Please note that each state has different regulations regarding voter registration and engagement. Some states will not allow you to vote via absentee ballot if you have not previously voted in person while other states will allow anyone to vote early by mail even if you are physically available to vote in person.