Q & A Guide To Voter Registration

"This right to vote is the basic right without which all others are meaningless.  It gives people—people as individuals—control over their own destinies"
- Lyndon B. Johnson

Why does the University get involved in voter registration?

The 1998 reauthorization of the federal Higher Education Act and the State of California Donahoe Higher Education Act include a requirement that higher education institutions make a “good faith effort” to make mail voter registration forms available to all enrolled students. This federal and state legislation supports the campus’s long-standing goals of engendering leadership and citizenship among the student body.

Am I eligible to register to vote?

In order to register to vote you must be a citizen of the United States, a resident of California, and at least 18 years of age at the time of the next election.

As a college student living away from home, where should I register?

You may register to vote either at your college address, or at your hometown or parent’s address. If you register at your hometown address and want to vote while attending college, you must remember to request an absentee ballot at least 30 days before the election. Check with your state election board for the exact deadline.

If I sign up to vote, will I get called for jury duty?

The court draws names from many sources, including the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). An individual is more likely to be called for jury duty because of possessing a driver’s license than because of registering to vote. No person is exempt from jury duty by reason of occupation. Based on their student status, students may request a deferral of service to the next school break. Students must respond to the jury duty summons and appear in court to request to be excused.

I live in a residence hall and use a P.O. Box address. What is the correct way to complete the registration form?

Students living in a residence hall or house should use the name of the specific residence hall/house as their residence address (e.g. Santa Cruz Hall). The P.O. Box is considered your mailing address. Students living in Santa Catalina: residence address is 6850 El Colegio, Goleta, CA 93117; mailing address is a 6-digit number (assigned by Housing) Santa Catalina, Santa Barbara, CA 93106. For detailed instructions, access SpecialAddressInstructions_UCSB2017

How do I register to vote?

The Student Affairs Division in conjunction with the UCSB Gauchos Vote Coalition (Associated Students EVPSA, CALPIRG, and the Voter Registration Volunteer Coalition) sponsors a non-partisan voter registration drive twice a year, in fall and winter or spring, depending on the state and local elections schedule.


Registering online is a very fast and easy process. By registering through the link below, you can increase the number of registered students at UCSB. California Student Vote also provides a list of resources and tools necessary to get you to feel comfortable while voting. Student Vote could be used as an alternative in case you are not living in California by the time you vote.  

With the passage of California Senate Bill No. 854-Chapter 481, state-funded higher education institutions - community colleges, California State University system and University of California campuses - are required to allow students to request voter registration materials online through a link in their course registration system. As a result of this legislation, UCSB students are able to link to the online voter registration application from the UCSB Gaucho On-line Data (GOLD) system at the same time they are searching and registering for classes. The https://castudentvote.org/  link allows students to complete the voter registration process online as long as they possess a California driver license or identification card number. If you want to register out of state go to https://studentvote.org/ 

When is the last day I may register to vote for an election?

Although an eligible citizen may register to vote at any time, no person is eligible to vote unless he/she is registered on or before 15 days prior to the election.

How will I find out where to go to vote?

Your registration card should include the address of your polling place. Many jurisdictions also send additional informative materials to registered voters. If you do not receive the information in the mail, call the local election office at (805) 568-2200. To view your local polling site please visit the Santa Barbara County Elections Web site at http://www.sbcassessor.com/SampleballotandPollPlaceLookup/

(Voters who have moved from one address to another within the same county and not re-registered may vote a provisional ballot at the polling place for their current (new) address at the office of the county elections official or at any polling place within the county in which you are registered to vote.)

When is it necessary to reregister to vote?

You need to re-register if you move, change your name, wish to change political party affiliations or if your signature has changed.

I am interested in getting involved in a political organization on campus. What is available?

There are several political organizations on campus including Campus Democrats, College Republicans, CALPIRG and the Green Party. For more information you can contact a Campus Orgs Advisor in Student Engagement and Leadership at CampusOrgs@sa.ucsb.edu or browse the campus organizations on the student organizations platform shoreline.ucsb.edu

How can I get involved in UCSB's non-partisan voter registration drive?

The Gauchos Vote Coalition sponsors the voter registration drive(s) each year. To join the Gauchos Vote Coalition, contact Viviana Marsano, Director, Civic and Community Engagement at marsano-v@ucsb.edu.

Where can I obtain more information about voter registration, voting and elections?

Additional information can be accessed at the following web sites:

If you have any questions about UCSB voter registration or the Gauchos Vote Coalition, contact Viviana Marsano, Director, Civic and Community Engagement, IV/UCSB Liaison and Senior Campus Organizations Advisor at marsano-v@ucsb.edu