Introducing TurboVote

We're pleased to announce that we've partnered with TurboVote to help you register for and vote in the November elections. Check it out!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Registration Questions

Which state should I register in?

That is up to you! You can register either in your home state or here in Rhode Island. Because it is an off-year, there are important state and local races all across the country, and your vote does not “count” more in one place over another, as people often say during presidential election years.

When picking which state to register in, consider whether there are any close races or races you care deeply about in either state. If you feel strongly connected to one state over another, register there! If you are indifferent, consider registering in Rhode Island, where there are important races this year that will impact your time at Brown, and where you can vote on-campus and do not need to worry about absentee voting.

I am already registered in my home state. Can I also register in Rhode Island? 

Nope, unfortunately you cannot be registered in two states at once. But you can switch your registration to Rhode Island using TurboVote! 

But I want to vote in my home state in 2016! 

While you cannot be registered in two states at once, you can always change your registration to another state before the 2016 elections!

I want to register in my home state, but receive my absentee ballot materials here at Brown. Can I do that?

Yes! TurboVote allows you to enter an address of residence for registration, and then a separate mailing address to receive absentee ballot materials.

I want to register in Rhode Island. Do I use my dorm address or mailbox address (or off-campus address)?

Use your mailbox address (69 Brown Street, Box ####, etc.). Rhode Island knows that Brown students are all residents, and accepts this mailbox address for registration. Additionally, when you register with your mailbox number, your polling place will be conveniently located in Salomon on Election Day. If you register with a dorm or off-campus address, your polling place will be somewhere else in Providence, closer to that address, but probably less convenient for you. (For instance, Pembroke dorm addresses will send you to a polling place at Hope High School. Much less convenient!)

So wait, I can vote online???

Nope, this is just for voter registration. To vote, you will still need to either send in a ballot by mail or go to a poll in-person.

So wait, I can do the whole registration thing right here, right now, online??

Only in 21 states, unfortunately. For those states, TurboVote will send you directly to your state’s registration site, and you can register right here, right now. For the other 29 states, TurboVote will mail you an almost-complete registration form ASAP with all the info you entered (just missing your signature and driver’s license number or Social Security Number, which most states require for registration, and which TurboVote does not collect) with a pre-addressed, stamped envelope for you to send your completed form to your local board of elections. 

Other TurboVote Sign-up Questions

I am already registered to vote. Why should I sign up for TurboVote?

  1. If you are registered in your home state, not Rhode Island, you can sign up to receive absentee ballot materials and reminders to make the incredibly complicated process of absentee voting as easy as possible!
  2. You can sign up to receive election reminders, so you never forget to vote!
  3. If you ever want to change your registration information (address, name change, etc.) in the future, you will conveniently already have a TurboVote account.

What do you mean when you say they’ll send absentee ballot materials? How does TurboVote help me vote absentee?

Many states require you to fill out an absentee ballot application or request form before they’ll send you an absentee ballot. There are strict deadlines by which your local board of elections needs to receive these in order to send your ballot. TurboVote will mail you (or email, if your state allows) your state’s application/request form and a pre- addressed, stamped envelope, and will remind you about the deadline to send it in. After that, your state will send you your absentee ballot. There are also strict deadlines by which your local board of elections needs to receive your actual absentee ballot. TurboVote will send you reminders about this deadline as well, so that you don’t miss your opportunity to vote!

I don’t want TurboVote to send me all these annoying reminders...

You can pick and choose which reminders you’d like to receive, and whether you want them by email or by text!

Why should I trust this random website?

TurboVote is used by dozens of colleges and universities around the country, as well as by Google and other corporations who want to make voting as easy as possible for their students and employees. Brown has its own contract with TurboVote, and pays for all the postage and other costs associated with TurboVote. TurboVote constantly monitors election and registration laws in all 50 states, and has a strict privacy policy to keep your info safe, which is why they don’t ask for any personal ID numbers online.