The Office of Student Services’ goal is to mobilize the MIIS community to be active participants in our democracy. This page provides helpful, nonpartisan resources about ways to engage in civic life, from voting to campaign involvement and activism.
Check your voter registration status and register to vote HERE.
Request your absentee ballot HERE.
Different states have different deadlines and requirements for voter registration. Click here or scroll to the bottom of this page for state-specific dates and links.
If you have any questions about the voter registration process, connect with your local elections official (in different states this may be a Town Clerk, a Registrar of Voters, or a County Board of Elections Officials). Make sure you register to vote before the deadline, and make plans to vote early if possible!
Absentee Voting Notes
For the most part, getting your absentee ballot is a two step process. You must both request a ballot and return a completed ballot with your vote. This varies from state-to-state (as some states automatically send ballots by mail).
We suggest you mail your absentee ballot requests at least 21 days in advance of Election Day. Most ballots need to be received by your election officials before the end of Election Day, so we suggest you return your completed ballot 14 days before Election Day.
Please note that state deadlines are subject to change, especially in contentious election years as candidates and political parties issue lawsuits on behalf of voters. If you have questions about the vote-by-mail or absentee ballot voting process in your state, connect with your local elections official (in different states this may be a Town Clerk, a Registrar of Voters, or a County Board of Elections Officials). See list of contacts by state here.
Voting in U.S. Elections
This helpful guide to voting in U.S. elections, provided by the Campus Election Engagement Project (CEEP), is a great start to ensure you are set to vote in local, state and national elections. CEEP is a national nonpartisan project that helps administrators, faculty, staff, and student leaders at America’s colleges and universities engage students in federal, state, and local elections. They have a plethora of resources, including primary & caucus guides, tips to detect disinformation, and other ideas specifically designed to help university students take an active role in election engagement.
MiddVotes is Middlebury College’s nonpartisan student organization dedicated to civic engagement. They have many resources that apply to MIIS students as well!
Follow MiddVotes on Instagram for news, events and resources for the upcoming 2020 Presidential Election.
Upcoming Democracy Events and Activities
Ongoing - Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m. PT: Weekly Politics Luncheon
Wednesdays, 9:30 - 10:30 a.m. Pacific - Zoom Link Password: 195843
Join Professor of Political Science Matt Dickinson every Wednesday from 9:30 - 10:30am PT for a lively Zoom discussion of politics with a current focus on elections.
September 29: First Presidential Debate
October 5-9: National Voter Education Week
October 7: Vice-Presidential Debate
October 14, 3:30 p.m. Pacific: Live from DC: Election 2020—Two Policy Futures Diverge
The 2020 presidential election will determine the future landscape of policy-related careers. What if the incumbent wins? What if the challenger wins? Richard Haass P’16, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, and Chris Matthiesen ’04, partner at Federal Hall Policy Advisors, will discuss the foreign and domestic policy continuum represented by the two candidates’ policy prescriptions, as well as the implications for future federal government agency, think tank, NGO, and international relation career roles. Please join them to understand how the policy roads lead to two divergent career futures.
October 15: Second Presidential Debate
October 16, 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. Pacific: Let’s Vote! Happy Hour
Zoom ID: 917 7788 4191 Password: 048480
Hosted by Student Council President Madeleine Smith. Join us for a fun informal Friday night happy hour to discuss our civic duty with peers. Voting is more fun when we do it with friends. Guests will be guided through national-level candidates, and breakout rooms will hold state-specific conversations.
October 22: Third Presidential Debate
October 24: National Vote Early Day
October 28, 1:00 p.m. Pacific: The Glass Ballot Box and Political Transparency, 1856/2020
Ellery Foutch, assistant professor in American Studies, will give a talk as part of the Carol Rifelj Faculty Lecture Series. In 1856, the United States was embroiled in conflicts that might seem familiar to today’s audiences: intense wealth disparity, anti-immigrant sentiment, widespread corruption scandals, and tensions between politicians and the media. Concerns about corruption and voter fraud came to a head when San Francisco officials discovered a so-called “stuffer’s ballot-box,” outfitted with a false bottom and side panel to conceal premarked ballots for a desired candidate, concrete evidence of election rigging. In response to this news about election tampering, New Yorker Samuel Jollie proposed a novel solution: a ballot box made of glass.
October 29, 4:30 p.m. Pacific: Forecasting the 2020 Presidential Election during a Global Pandemic
A Zoom link will be posted to the Middlebury campus calendar. Professor of Political Science Matt Dickinson gives a preelection talk examining the state of the race and whether traditional forecast models hold any meaning during a time of crisis.
November 3: Election Day
We will update this page as any MIIS-specific events or activities are finalized!
Arkansas: Register by mail or in person by October 5th.
Colorado: Register online or by mail by October 26th. Voters may also register in-person anytime before Election Day, November 3rd.
Illinois: Registration sent by-mail must be postmarked by October 6th. Register online by October 18th. Voters may also register in-person up to and including on Election Day, November 3rd.
Indiana: Register online, by mail, or in-person by October 5th.
Maine: Register by mail by October 19th. Voters may also register in-person up to and including on Election Day, November 3rd.
Mississippi: Register by mail or in-person by October 5th. Mail-in registration must be postmarked by October 5th.
Montana: Register by mail. Mail-in registration must be postmarked by October 5th and received by October 7th.
New Hampshire: Register by mail. Mail-in registration must be received by October 21st through October 28th, depending on the town. Voters may also register in-person until Election Day, November 3rd.
New Jersey: Register by mail or in-person by October 13th.
New Mexico: Register online, by mail, or in-person by October 6th. In-person registration is also available on October 31st. Some counties are no longer accepting in-person registration due to COVID-19.
North Carolina: Register online or in-person by October 9th. Registration by mail must be postmarked by October 9th and received by October 14th. Voters may also register in-person through November 1st.
North Dakota: No voter registration necessary.
Oklahoma: Register by mail or in-person by October 9th.
South Dakota: Register by mail or in-person by October 19th.