Register to Vote
If you have any questions about the voting process, stop by the Civic Engagement Office for help. We have voter registration and absentee ballot request forms for all states in our office. We can also help you determine registration deadlines and ensure your forms are submitted correctly. Check your voter registration status online to determine if you are already registered or not. Please check any potential address as the database searches by address not by name.
We encourage our students to be educated voters. Vote411 and Ballot Ready have up to date information about election dates, registration deadlines, poll locators, and candidate information based on the voting address you enter. Linn County Election Services has information about voting within Linn County.
To make it easier for students to vote, the Civic Engagement Office is covering postage costs for all voting related materials. You can bring completed forms directly to the Mail Center or to the Civic Engagement Office to get envelopes and postage.
Pre-registration deadline: October 24, 2020 at 5pm
Presidential Election: November 3, 2020
Cornell College is hosting a Satellite Voting Station on October 15, 2020. Voting will take place from 12pm-6pm in the Small Multi-Sport Center arena. Please enter next to the wrestling entrance. This is an early voting station that will replace voting on Election Day or voting via absentee ballot. You may only vote ONCE and at ONE address.
- Register to vote
- Vote in person
- Find your polling location
- Each state has their own rules for how to vote on election day. Please check your state's election services website to determine what you need to vote in person.
- In Iowa, you need to bring an ID with you to vote. Acceptable IDs are: Iowa Driver's License, Iowa Non-operator ID, U.S. Passport, U.S. Military or Veteran ID, Iowa Voter Identification Card, or Tribal ID Card/Document. A Voter ID card will be provided to all registered Iowa voters who do not have an Iowa driver's license.
- Vote absentee
- Request an absentee ballot by your state's deadline
- Complete absentee ballot and submit to your local election office following the directions provided with your ballot.
- If you request an absentee ballot and choose to then vote in person, you must bring the blank absentee ballot with you to surrender when you vote in person.
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.
Due to the current pandemic, you may also choose to vote via absentee ballot in place of in-person voting. You must request an Absentee Ballot by October 24, 2020 at 5pm. Absentee ballots must be signed, completed, and mailed back or dropped off by the time polls close on election day.
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, you may come by the Civic Engagement Office to complete a paper registration form. Additionally, you may download and complete the Cornell specific voter registration form. The pre-registration Deadline is October 24, 2020 at 5pm.
If you do not meet the pre-registration deadline, you will need to register on election day. This requires proof of residency in addition to proof of identity. The Residence Life Office is able to print a letter for you proving your residency at Cornell. Acceptable forms of proof of identity are: Iowa Driver's License, Iowa Non-operator ID, U.S. Passport, U.S. Military or Veteran ID, Iowa Voter Identification Card, Tribal ID Card/Document.
If you are registered to vote based on your Cornell College address, you will vote at St. John Catholic Chuch. The address is 212 7th St. SE, Mount Vernon, IA 52314. Previously, residents of Wilch voted at a separate location. This year, all voters will vote at the catholic church.
A bus will be provided by the college to serve as a shuttle to and from the polling location on Election Day. Times for the shuttle are TBD.
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.
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.
The Civic Engagement Office has registration and absentee request forms for all states. Please stop by our office for help in determine how and where to vote.