How and Why to Vote

U-M needs 100% of eligible students to vote on Election Day to win the Big Ten Voting Challenge. Exercise your right to vote on Nov. 3 by following the guide below.
Read time: 2 minutes

Did you know women marched for 80 years for ratification of the 19th Amendment, which banned voter registration on the basis of sex? Or that it took decades of protests before President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which gave African Americans the right to vote freely? Learn more about the history of voting in this video, created by U-M students working in tandem with the Big Ten Voting Challenge and Turn Up Turnout.

While the deadline to register online or by mail in Michigan has passed, you can still register to vote in person with proof of residency up to 8 p.m. on Election Day at your city or township clerk’s office. This includes the satellite Ann Arbor City Clerk office in the U-M Museum of Art. All students, faculty, and staff can use the location to register to vote and cast early in-person absentee ballots.

Verify your registration, confirm your polling place, and review your sample ballot at the Secretary of State’s Michigan Voter Information Center. Registration information for residents of other states is available from the National Association of Secretaries of State.

Ann Arbor residents voting absentee can return their ballot in a secure drop box. See this map showing all drop box locations, which includes a drop box on both Central and North Campus. More voting information from the city of Ann Arbor is available at the City Clerk website.

To help you understand your ballot if you are voting in Michigan, The Michigan Daily has put together a 2020 general election guide. This year, Michigan voters will decide on candidates for president and vice president of the United States, the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Michigan House of Representatives. Other positions on the ballot include State Supreme Court Justices, the State Board of Education, University of Michigan board of regents, Michigan State University board of trustees, Wayne State University board of governors, and local and judicial offices.

Then prepare to vote, if you have not already, as the University needs 100% of eligible U-M students to vote to win the Big Ten Voting Challenge.

Of the 14 participating universities, the challenge will recognize two winners: the campus with the greatest overall turnout in 2020 and the campus with the greatest increase in turnout from 2016 to 2020.

For even more information on voting, check out and help U-M win the Big Ten Voting Challenge and get out the vote on campus with these hashtags: #B1GVotes, #GoBlueGoVote, and #VictorsVote.

Go vote and Go Blue!

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