Young adults ages 18–29 represent our country’s largest generation, yet they have traditionally voted at the lowest rate. What stands in the way? Often a lack of clear information. And it can be confusing! Emory is committed to smoothing your path to the polls so you can express your voice through your vote. Here, please read on to learn how to … 

  • Sign up for TurboVote. This online platform helps you register and vote, including by mail. Sign up! It also helps you request absentee ballots and sends useful reminders.

  • Register to vote. TurboVote guides you step by step. Students living at school may register in either Georgia or their home state. If you registered on campus but have since moved off campus, reregister at that address.

  • Make a plan! Get #voteready. You have three options: vote by mail (absentee), vote early in person, or vote in person on Election Day.

Path to the Polls


While there are no races for president or Senate this November 2, there’s still plenty at stake in state and local elections. In the City of Atlanta, for example, mayoral and city council seats are up for grabs.

Aim to register, check, or update your voter information by mid-September. Submit any absentee ballot requests by the end of September and return the mail-in ballot by mid-October. If you’re voting in person, we recommend doing that early, too.

After the general election, areas without ranked-choice voting may hold runoff elections to settle close races. Then in spring, primary elections kick into gear for the higher-profile fall 2022 midterm elections.

Here’s how to find the official pins in your calendar. Most vary by state.

Voter registration deadlines

  • In Georgia, the very last day to register is Monday, October 4. Allow time for processing after that.

  • Elsewhere: If you choose to vote in your previous or home state, look up its registration deadlines here. Deadlines range from a month before Election Day to same-day, on-the-spot registration.

Voting dates

  • Absentee (mail-in) ballot deadlines: Look up the last day to request and return an absentee ballot, and know your state’s rules. Note whether the ballot must be postmarked or received by Election Day.

  • Early in-person voting: Availability, days, and locations vary. Check your local listings, or look them up here.  

    • In Georgia, early voting for November 2 runs Tuesday, October 11 to Friday, October 29. Precise details depend on county. Consult your county’s board of elections or see My Voter Page.

  • Election Day, Tuesday, November 2, 2021. The last day to vote.

Civic holidays

To drum up enthusiasm and get #voteready, the Emory Votes Initiative celebrates these occasions along the way:

TurboVote Signup FAQ 

What is TurboVote?

TurboVote is an online tool that makes voting easier. Sign up and let it walk you through registering to vote and voting in every election step by step. Emory has contracted with TurboVote’s parent organization, the nonpartisan nonprofit Democracy Works, to make this service available to you. While it’s especially helpful to students and others wishing to vote by mail, anyone can benefit from its reminders and help.

How do I sign up?

  • Go to emory.turbovote.org. Click through the interface and enter your personal information and preferences for guidance to register, set up reminders, and opt for help voting by mail if you like. TurboVote will mail you any necessary forms.

  • Tutorial: See EVI’s TurboVote signup video.

  • If you say you are interested in voting by mail (absentee), a month or more before each election TurboVote will offer to mail an absentee ballot request form and stamped envelope straight to your indicated mailing address. You can still skip that and vote in person if you prefer.

  • We recommend opting in to both text and email reminders. There are only a few per election cycle; they won’t spam you. Make sure the initial email response from TurboVote doesn’t end up in your Junk folder.

What if I already registered to vote or already signed up for TurboVote?

  • Do sign up for TurboVote even if you are already registered to vote! It can still remind you of up-to-date deadlines, dates, and polling places and can mail you any paper forms needed to vote absentee or update your registration.

  • If you signed up for TurboVote previously, make sure to update your address or preferences if they’ve changed! Maybe you initially voted in person and now want the option of voting by mail. Maybe your name changed or you moved. Maybe you want to register in a different state.

What does TurboVote provide again?

  • Help registering to vote in any state, if needed

  • Reminders about dates, deadlines, and status checks

  • Prompts to request your absentee ballot, if desired, and the means to do so, including mailing forms and stamped envelopes to your indicated address

  • Details about voting hours and locations

  • A help desk staffed by live human beings. Click HELP in the upper right of Emory’s TurboVote portal to submit a question and someone will get back to you.

What does TurboVote not do?

  • It does not register you to vote. It guides you to do so yourself.

  • It does not send you an absentee ballot, as that will come directly from local elections officials. It does help you request your ballot, including mailing you forms to send in—as long as you expressed interest in by-mail voting when you signed up.

  • It does not share personal information with any other services or campaigns.

 

Voter Registration FAQ

In which state do I register and vote?

Students may legally register to vote at either at your campus/Georgia address or your hometown/permanent address. It’s your choice of state, but pick just one. When you sign up for TurboVote you’ll indicate your state of choice.

Any students not currently in Georgia, for example if studying remotely, cannot register to vote at an Emory/Georgia address right now. Register in the state where you are.

What address do I register at?

  • Emory College:Students in residence who wish to vote in Georgia, do not give your residence hall address. Instead, use this: 1762 Clifton Rd NE, MSC ######, Atlanta, GA 30322 (replacing “######” with the MSC number from your OPUS account). Your county is DeKalb.

  • Oxford College:On-campus students registering in Georgia, your registration address will differ from your mailing address. See details here. Your county is Newton.

  • Off-campus students: Use your street address.

  • If registering in hometown: Use your family’s permanent address.

How and when do I register?

  • How: TurboVote will walk you through the registration process. Depending on the state and what ID it requires, TurboVote will either

    • point you to an online registration site, or

    • mail you a papervoter registration form with a stamped envelope. Check your mailbox. The TurboVote mailing includes a registration form prefilled with most of your information and a prestamped envelope addressed to your election authority. You’ll only need to fill in your ID, sign at the bottom, and send it off. Print clearly.

    • If you can’t wait for TurboVote’s mailing to arrive, download and print a state’s form on your own, fill it in, sign, and mail it to your election authority, adding your own stamp.

    • The nameyou enter when registering to vote should exactly match that on your government-issued identification. This is necessary in many states that require such ID to vote.

  • When: Ideally by mid-September, though official deadlines are later.

    • Allow up to three weeks for some states to process a nonelectronic registration and get you entered into the local voter rolls.

    • If you’re planning to vote by mail, allow another several weeks after your registration goes through to request, receive, and returnyour absentee ballot before your state’s deadline.

    • Good sites for official registration and voting information are vote, from the same folks as TurboVote, and Vote.org (see registration and ballot request).

How do I register to vote in Georgia?

  • It depends on your ID. If you have a Georgia driver’s licenseor Georgia voter ID, the state has your signature on file and you can register completely online.

  • If you don’t have a Georgia license, TurboVote will send you a paper voter registration application or show you where you can download and print it. Or find the Emory Votes Initiative table at a campus event and fill out a Georgia form in person!

    • Fill it out the application completely, including your full legal name, your county (e.g., DeKalb, Fulton, Newton), and the last four digits of your Social Security Number. Print clearly.

    • Be sure to date and sign.

    • Mail your registration to your county’s elections office, or to the Georgia Secretary of State, Elections Division, 2 MLK Jr. Drive, Suite 802 Floyd West Tower, Atlanta, GA 30334.

  • Georgia voter registration information: georgia.gov and Secretary of State.

Need a stamp or envelope for a mailing of your own?

In some states, ballots are already postage-paid. If you’re delivering your ballot directly to a drop box or building in a state that doesn’t require a postmark, you can skip the stamp, too. Otherwise, you will need to stick one or two (depending on weight) first-class, 55 cent stamps from the U.S. Postal Service on the front of the envelope.

Where to get stamps?

  • You can buy stamps at an on-campus Mail Center,

    • Clifton campus: Few Hall, 4 Eagle Row, lower level

    • Clairmont campus: SAAC, 1946 Starvine Way

    • Oxford campus: Whatcoat Street Building,

  • or at any U.S. Post Office (e.g. in Atlanta: on Briarcliff Road at Sage Hill, North Highland Ave. in Virginia-Highland, Ponce de Leon in Decatur),

  • or order sheets of 10+ stamps at usps.com.

Boxes of envelopes can be found in any pharmacy or supermarket, near the notebooks. Post offices often sell them, too.

What next?

Follow up with your state elections officials to verify that you made it onto the voter rolls, your status is active, and you’re #voteready! Try herehere, or for Georgia, here.

What if I have more questions about registering?

For TurboVote’s Help Desk, click on “HELP” at emory.turbovote.org. Someone will get back to you within a day. Or seek answers under Voter Resources on this EVI page.

Always double-check! Even if you think you’re all set, make sure you’re still an active, registered voter and your information is current. Sign up with TurboVote to check your status. (Or select your state and see right away. For Georgia, go straight to My Voter Page.)

  • If you signed up for TurboVote before but will be receiving mail elsewhere this election cycle, sign upagain with your current mailing address so any forms they send will reach you.

  • If you didn’t initially indicate a preference for voting by mailbut want that option now, sign up with TurboVote again to say so.

What if I registered before and something changed?

  • If you registered at a Georgia address and are now temporarily elsewhere, your registration remains valid. You can vote absentee in Georgia.

    • Sign up for TurboVote with your current mailing address so any absentee ballot request form they send will reach youOn that request form, you will tell your elections officials where to mail your actual ballot.

    • Fill out Emory’s mail forwarding form on OPUS, through the pop-up or the “mail forwarding address” tab on your profile tile. You should also temporarily forwardyour first-class USPS But don’t count on receiving mail on time via forwarding. Ballots may not be forwarded.

    • You also have the option of changing your registration to vote in your current location instead, as one does with official moves. To do so, sign up for TurboVote and follow its prompts.

  • Whenever you request an absentee/by-mail ballot, you will indicate your current (temporary) mailing addresson that request form. That’s where they’ll send the ballot.

  • If you registered to vote elsewhere, are now in residence in Georgia, and wish to vote in Georgia instead, you can reregister here. Just sign up for TurboVote and follow its prompts.

  • If you registered to vote on campus and now live off campus nearby, we recommend updating your Georgia voter registration (reregistering) to vote at your current street address and whatever districts it’s in. Just sign up for TurboVote and follow its prompts. Otherwise, for now you can still vote absentee at your campus address.

  • Directly, the Georgia secretary of state’s My Voter Page is here.

  • If you move away for real, for example after graduating, it’s time to register to vote at your new address or in your new state and then vote only there. Throughout life, whenever you moveor change your name, update your voter registration to remain an active citizen and vote in every election from dogcatcher to president!

Once you’re registered where you want to be, it’s time to make a voting plan and get #voteready. How will you vote this time? You have three options:

  1. Vote by mail

  2. Vote earlyin person

  3. Vote in person on Election Day

Pick whichever way is safest and most convenient for you. EVI recommends voting early when possible. Please read on.

Voting absentee, or by mail, is a must for students living away from states where they’re registered. (Being a student is a valid “excuse” in states that require one for an absentee ballot. See your state’s rules.) As a bonus, it can take less time than voting in person and frees you up on Election Day. Despite some glitches, hand-marked paper ballots are considered secure and mail fraud is rare. Depending on where you are, you may even be able to return your ballot directly to a local drop box or office and avoid the final leg in the mail.

Just plan well. This process takes a few extra steps and mail can be slow, so get started as soon as you can. Know the deadlines for your state, request and return your vote-by-mail ballot early, and allow for delays.

Here’s what to do.

  1. In states that requireone, get an absentee ballot request form (application). If you told TurboVote you were interested in voting by mail, they can mail you a request form with a stamped envelope or point you to print it out yourself.

  2. Georgia has new ID rules for absentee voting. As of 2021, when you apply for a ballot, you must include an acceptable form of ID. This new procedure replaces identifying voters by signature.

    • If you have a Georgia driver’s license or state ID, you can request your ballot fully online at the state’s Absentee Ballot Request Portal.

    • If you don’t have Georgia ID, you’ll need to fill out a request form and mail, email, or fax it, along with a copy of acceptable ID, to your county registrar (DeKalb, Newton, Fulton). VoteRiders lists acceptable ID here. NOTE: Out-of-state drivers’ licenses are not If you don’t have approved documentation, plan to vote in person instead.

  3. Fill out the request form and return it. Indicate your current mailing address. Print, sign, add postage if needed, and mail it pronto to your elections officials. Or scan it and submit it electronically if allowed.

  4. Track your request online.

  5. Receive the absentee ballot, mailed by your local elections officials or their vendor printer.

  6. Researchthe candidates and issues. See our Voter Resources below.

  7. Vote! Fill out your ballot.Follow instructions carefully to vote your choices. Bubble in completely. Sign and date anywhere required, including on the outer envelope. Provide a copy of ID if required. (ID Georgia voters, if you don’t have Georgia ID, here you can simply provide the last four digits of your Social Security number.)

  8. Add any necessary postage.

  9. Return the ballotto your local elections officials to arrive by your state’s deadline, ideally sooner. Allow for slow snail mail.

    • Know your state’s rules. In some states, ballots must be received,not just postmarked, by Election Day. If you are living where you are registered to vote, you may have the option to return your ballot to a drop box or approved office instead of sending it through the mail.

    • In Georgia, all ballots must be received by county elections office by 7 p.m. on Election Day. Plan in advance. You can either mail it or return it to a ballot drop box in your county. By mail: If via USPS, allow at least two weeks before Election Day. By drop box: Locations TBA but know they will now be available only indoors, only at county elections offices and other early voting polling places, and only during actual early voting hours. No more 24/7 drop boxes outside libraries and fire stations. Therefore, get yours to a drop box no later than the last day of early voting, the Friday before Election Day. (Given all this, some may find it just as easy to simply vote early in person. If you already requested a paper ballot, bring it with you to be voided.)

  10. Optional:Take a selfieoutside the mailbox or polling place, share that you voted, and tag some friends and @emoryvotes!

  11. Trackyour ballot through your state’s site. Make sure it is received and accepted on time. All voted! #emoryvotes.

Trouble casting your ballot? Call the nonpartisan Election Protection coalition at 866-OUR-VOTE.

If you are registered to vote near where you’re currently living and wish or need to vote in person, you generally two options: early voting and voting on Election Day. Allow plenty of time. Double-check your registration status and polling place for any last-minute changes, grab your ID, comfortable clothes and shoes, possible snacks or water, and head out to participate safely and patiently in our democracy’s most sacred ritual of civic engagement.

  • Early or advanced voting. Find early voting dates and select locations for your area. Dates vary. You’ll probably vote further from your neighborhood than on Election Day, but lines may be shorter, it’s great to get it out of the way, and you’ll leave yourself time to iron out any wrinkles, just in case.

    • In Georgia, early voting for the November 2 election runs October 12–29. Check exact dates, times, and locations for your county here. (NOTE: Advanced voting ends the Friday before Election Day.) EVI will share transportation information in October. Any current driver’s license is acceptable ID for voting in person, as is a passport. See acceptable ID here.

  • Voting on Election Day, November 2. The big day, the longest lines. Go to our assigned polling place (precinct). TurboVote will tip you off, or you can check your voter card or state resources (for Georgia, that’s My Voter Page). There may be a line. Poll workers will guide you through the stations to vote.

Congratulations, you’ve voted! Take a selfie after you leave the polling place (not inside!) and tag @emoryvotes.

If you run into any kind of trouble casting your ballot, contact the nonpartisan Election Protection network at 866-OUR-VOTE.

Casting a ballot isn’t the only way to support a vibrant democracy. Consider becoming a poll worker, helping others vote, or joining a student organization.

Poll Workers Needed

A lot of longtime, older poll workers are sitting this year out, so bright, young, fresh folks are urgently needed to fill the shortage setting up machines, checking voters in, etc., in Georgia and across the land. The training and long day of service will even net you a little cash.

Working the polls can only be done in person, of course. EVI cannot suggest what risks are worth your taking. Please consider whether this is a safe choice for you and those who live with you, and keep in mind any university policies about off-campus activities.

In all states: Power the Polls directs you to poll worker information for any location. You can also find your state’s official poll worker information through the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.

In Georgia: You must be a citizen, age 16 and up, and apply in your county of residence. Other details vary by county. You can sign up directly with your county (e.g., DeKalb, Fulton, Gwinnett), start at the state’s recruitment site, or go through an organization. EVI suggests two organizations in particular.

  • The ACLU of Georgia recommends signing up with both them and your county. It is working with counties statewide to recruit and assign poll workers, and it can sometimes group teammates together to “adopt” a polling place. Put “Emory Votes Initiative” as your organization.

  • New this year is the Georgia Youth Poll Work Project, created by recent GSU grad Evan Malbrough, with its Push for 5k initiative to recruit 5,000 student poll workers in the metro Atlanta area, as mentioned in the New York Times. @ga_youth_pollworkers

This deck by Renard Sexton, Emory assistant professor of political science, fleshes out the local need for poll workers and the process of becoming one.

working-the-polls.png

Other Voting-Related Opportunities

Got time on Election Day or before? Help others vote. With face-to-face voter registration and canvasing on campus off the table, read on for other election-related volunteering ideas.

  • Get trained to answer the Election Protection coalition’s nonpartisan voter hotline at 866ourvote and head off problems at the polls. Political parties may also run their own voter helplines.

  • Be a poll watcher or monitor (not to be confused with a poll worker) through Election Protection’s Protect the Vote or other nonpartisan or partisan efforts. Training required.

  • Get out the vote in the larger community by phoning, texting, or writing postcards from home. There are many partisan and nonpartisan efforts out there. Some focus on particular communities, e.g., in Atlanta, the Center for Pan-Asian Community Services (CPACS) or the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials (GALEO). GoVoteGA is a good starting point.

  • Within the Emory community, share this Emory Votes Initiative website. Encourage others to sign up for TurboVote and register to vote, the sooner the better, or change or update their information. Help others figure out how to get and return absentee ballots.

  • More possibilities:

    • Vote Riders helps people navigate voter ID requirements. Spread the Vote also helps folks who need ID get it.

    • “Warm the line” on Election Day. Volunteer with a local organization or on your own to safely bring food, water, or even chairs or umbrellas to those waiting in line to vote.

    • On your evening walk at the end of Election Day, snap and upload pictures of your precinct’s publicly posted poll tapes. Protect Our Votes is organizing this Photo Finish effort in states including Georgia, Tennessee, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Connecticut.

Student Organizations

Civic engagement starts with taking part in your immediate community. Consider joining a student organization such as, for example:

Emory College

  • APIDAA (Asian, Pacific Islander and Desir American Activists)
  • Black Student Association
  • College Republicans
  • Hillel
  • Latino Student Organization
  • NAACP Emory
  • Pi Sigma Alpha (political science honor society)
  • Students for Justice in Palestine
  • Young Americans for Freedom
  • Young Democrats

Oxford College

  • Oxford College Republicans
  • OxFirst - first generation/low-income student group
  • OxMUN
  • OxPride
  • Pre-Law Society
  • Race- and ethnicity-based organizations: OLE (Organización de la Lengua Española), Black Student Alliance, African Caribbean Students Union, Asian Culture Club, Indian Cultural Exchange, Hindu Student Association, Chinese Student Association, Muslim Student Association, Korean American Student Association 
  • Turning Point USA
  • Young Democrats

TurboVote

  • Sign up for help registering and voting at the free online platform TurboVote. Emory’s portal: emory.turbovote.org. Tutorial here. If you signed up before, do it again if your mailing address has changed or if you now want to vote by mail and didn’t say so before. (You can unsubscribe from a previous signup; just make sure it’s right one!)

State-by-state voting info

  • TurboVote’s parent organization, Democracy Works, offers a convenient How to Vote page with state-by-state links. Select your state in the drop-down menu to find its election website, check your voter registration status, look up local election officials, or request a vote-by-mail (absentee) ballot.

  • Vote.org helps you look up your eligibility to vote in any state with these Voter Registration Rules and see its Absentee Ballot Rules and Early Voting Calendar.

  • The National Association of Secretaries of State directs you to official information about registering, voting, poll working, etc., in any state.

  • The Campus Votes Project offers State Student Voting Guides.

Georgia-specific voting info

  • All Georgia voters: Bookmark My Voter Page from the Georgia Secretary of State’s Elections Division. At My Voter Page you can log in with your name, birthdate, and county to register to vote, check your status, download forms, request and track absentee ballots, find election dates, consult a sample ballot, look up your polling place, get county contact info, learn your districts and representatives, generate your voter (precinct) card including number, etc.

  • Less officially, a group of Georgia volunteers assemble and update the Georgia Voter Guide, “a comprehensive nonpartisan guide to voting in the Peach State.”

  • 866ourvote.org lists Georgia deadlines and more. 

Volunteering as a poll worker

Who and what you’ll be voting on

  • Look up your sample ballot anywhere with Ballotpedia. In Georgia, see your sample ballot after logging in to My Voter Page.

  • Wherever you’re registered to vote, learn who’s running and where they stand with the League of Women Voters’ personalizable Voters’ Guide, vote411.org.

  • As elections approach, local organizations and news outlets in your area may provide more detailed information about candidates and issues. Some may release lists of endorsements.

Trouble voting

  • If you run into problems casting your vote, either on Election Day or year-round, call the Election Protection voter helpline at 866-OUR-VOTE (866ourvote.org). It’s a national, nonpartisan coalition run by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.