As Hawkeyes, we are informed, we vote, and we respect the opinions of others – we are many different voices that make up one community.
A national election cycle is one of the most important elements of our democracy. With an election comes great emotion—sometimes joy, sometimes disappointment, and hopefully a feeling of unity. Through this current cycle, our campus remains committed to ensuring a safe environment for people to share their thoughts and concerns, through lawful demonstration or assembly, as well as respectful conversation or debate. We will protect the rights of all faculty, students, staff, and visitors, regardless of political affiliation or belief system. As the election nears, UI officials are working together to design outlets and resources for the myriad constituents in our campus community. We will ensure your voices are heard and taken to heart.
In addition to this guide, our campus has developed a website that includes resources, where to report concerns, healing spaces, election resources, and where to go for help in navigating difficult conversations.
Find out more here:
What is Election Day?
According to the U.S. Congressional Research Service, Election Day is " the day legally established to select public officials in the United States. General elections for federal offices—President, Vice President, and U.S.Congress—are held on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November in even-numbered years."(Congressional Research Service) Additionally, many state and local elections are held on the same day, although this isn't always the case. This year, the 2020 Election Day is on Tuesday, November 3rd.
Beyond the Day
Don't let the name Election Day confuse you: the elections are a process and that process has already started. This includes the months of preparation before the election and will likely involve a significant time period afterwards to determine the final vote counts. (BBC) According to the Bipartisan Policy Center, "50%-70% of all ballots will be cast absentee—up from less than 25% nationally in 2018," which will place a much greater demand on state election systems than usual and is very likely to make the waiting time for a final result extend out to the days and even week(s) after the election. (BPC)
For voters, the process goes beyond November 3rd as well. There is more to voting than just selecting your preferred candidate and showing up on the day of the elections. If you participate in the election, make sure you plan ahead so that you are prepared to vote. To plan you'll need to:
For example, in order to have your vote counted, you must be registered to vote. (See side box to see if you are registered in Iowa) The rules, including important deadlines for registering depend on which state you are a resident of. A useful tool for finding these deadlines in each state can be found at the U.S. Vote Foundation's website. The site also has useful information about eligibility requirements, polling place locations, and ID requirements for each state.
Iowa's deadlines include the following:
Another crucial bit of information for those planning to vote by mail is that the U.S. Postal Office has warned that they expect significant delays in the mail-in process including whether ballots will arrive in time to be counted (U.S. Postal Service letters to states). Because of this, you may want to pay extra attention to the deadlines and consider taking actions to meet them in advance of the date.
Video Guide on How to Vote from USA.gov