Civic Engagement and Voter Empowerment

Register, Vote, and Volunteer

As part of our mission, we understand that voter empowerment and civic engagement is an essential part of the college experience and contributes to democratic participation in our society.

Through instruction, extracurricular activities, student clubs, internships, and peer-to-peer interactions, there are opportunities to become civically engaged and involved both on and off campus.

Our aim is to help demystify voter empowerment and civic engagement, and connect students with resources, services, and partnerships that will help them in their journey to become active and empowered global citizens.

Voter Empowerment

Register to vote today by clicking the "Register to Vote" or "Inscribirse Para Votar" button.

Voter Registration Deadlines

  • Register to Vote – Postmarked or submitted electronically no later than: October 19, 2020
    • Same Day Voter Registration: Voters can conditionally register and vote after the Oct. 19th voter registration deadline. For more information please go to Same Day Voter Registration

Voter Ballot Submission Deadline

  • Counties will begin mailing vote-by-mail ballots: October 5, 2020
    • All California active registered voters will receive a vote-by-mail ballot.
  • Last day to cast your ballot in the 2020 General Election: November 3, 2020
    • Return by mail - must be postmarked on or before November 3, 2020 and received by your county elections office no later than November 20, 2020. 
      • To track your vote-by-mail ballot, sign up for BallotTrax.
    • Return in person—to your county elections office or any polling place in your county before 8:00 p.m. on November 3, 2020.
      • Polls are open on Election Day: November 3, 2020 from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

For more information, please visit the Secretary of State’s “Ways to Vote” page.

Click on image to learn about vote safe in California

Are You Eligible to Vote? 

To vote in California, you must be:

Get Started

To vote in California, you’ll need to be registered in California. Not registered yet, or not sure if you’re registered? 

Translated Voter Materials

新選民 (Chinese)
नए मतदाता (Hindi)
初めて投票される方 (Japanese)
ចុះឈ្មោះបោះឆ្នោត (Khmer)
새 유권자 (Korean)
Magparehistro para Makaboto (Tagalog)
ผู้ลงคะแนนเสียงรายใหม่ (Thai)
Cử Tri Mới (Vietnamese)

How to Return Your Completed Vote-by-Mail Ballot

Help Sierra College Increase Voter Registration and Turnout

Sierra College has entered the Secretary of State’s College Ballot Bowl, which will honor the California campus with the highest number of registered voters. Let's be the 2020 winners! 

To win, we need your help.

  • Simply register to vote
  • Spread the word to your friends
  • Complete this by Nov. 3, 2020, when the College Ballot Bowl ends

Check out the Ballot Bowl video to see how your voter registration will count towards this friendly competition.

What is the Voter Registration and Voter Turnout Rate Among Eligible Youth?

In the 2014 General Election, only 52% of eligible youth were registered to vote—more than 20 points below any other age group—and only 8% of eligible youth aged 18-24 voted. However, during the 2018 General Election, youth voter registration in California increased to 61.6% and youth voter turnout increased significantly to 27.5%. Though there have been increases in voter registration and turnout among California youth, 18-24 year old's are still the lowest represented age group in the state.

To learn more, view the Secretary of State's Student Voter Registration Statistics.

Ensuring Participation: Increasing Voter Access

On a national scale, voter turnout has not surpassed 62.77% for a presidential election since 1960*. In this webinar, our campus student leaders explore the issue of voting access with elections experts – California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, State Senator Ben Allen. What is the state doing to encourage people to vote? How is California increasing voter access, including for vulnerable eligible voters who are homeless and/or disabled?

“Voter Turnout in Presidential Elections – 1828-2016,” The American Presidency Project, UCSB.
 

Please click on the lower right corner of the video for captions.

Part 1: Introductions (00:00 – 04:03)
Part 2: Voter Registration (04:04 – 12:58)
Part 3: Early Voting, The Voter's Choice Act, and The Youth Vote (12:59 – 22:33)
Part 4: Implementation of Voter Access Laws and In-Person Voting (22:35 – 30:44)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Click on any of the FAQs below, which will guide you to the relevant California Secretary of State web pages. Use your state’s Secretary of State website as the primary source for elections and voting information.

  1. What is Same Day Voter Registration
  2. Who is eligible to Pre-Register to Vote before age 18? And, how do I pre-register?
  3. Is there in-person early voting in my county? Where do I drop off my vote-by-mail ballot
  4. Where is my polling place?
  5. What is the California Voter’s Choice Act (VCA)?
  6. Does my county participate in VCA?
  7. How does California ensure access to Voters with Disabilities? Check out the following two videos:

Accessible Vote-by-Mail for Voters with Disabilities

Vote Centers and Accessibility

 

  1. If an individuals have a primary language preference other than English, are voter registration applications available to them?
  1. Does California provide the restoration of voting rights for individuals who have been formerly incarcerated?  

Related Resources

For further research on related topics, here are a few resources. 

National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) – Voter Registration
Provides an explanation of voter registration practices across states.

CQ Researcher – This Sierra College Library database can be accessed with a Sierra College username and password. Here are two recommended CQ articles: 

Center for Inclusive Democracy (CID) at USC Sol Price School of Public Policy

Demystifying Vote-by-Mail

Pre-pandemic, in California, you may request a vote-by-mail ballot for a particular election or you may request permanent vote-by-mail status. California, along with 28 other states do this. Five states conduct all elections entirely by mail - Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington and Utah. Given Covid-19, what are the changes regarding vote-by-mail? Is it possible for California to follow in the footsteps of “all mail elections” states? How is California working with the U.S. Postal Service? 

In this webinar, our campus student leaders address these questions with elections experts, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, and Dr. Mindy Romero.

 

Please click on the lower right corner of the video for captions.

Part 1: Introductions (00:00-03:26)
Part 2: Establishing the “Lay of the Land” for Vote-By-Mail (03:27-11:30)
Part 3: California’s Preparation for Alternatives to Vote-By-Mail (11:31-15:33)
Part 4: Understanding the Bipartisan Data on Vote-By-Mail (15:34-22:19)
Part 5: Voter Outreach – Our Roles (22:20-28:00)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Click on any of the FAQs below which will guide you to the relevant Secretary of State web pages. Use your state’s Secretary of State website as the primary source for elections and voting information.

COVID-19 Update - Every active registered voter in California will be mailed a vote-by-mail ballot for the November 3, 2020, General Election. 

  1. When will registered voters receive their vote-by-mail ballots?
    • County elections officials will begin mailing vote-by-mail ballots to all active registered voters no later than October 5, 2020.
    • For more information, Call the Secretary of State's toll-free Voter Hotline at (800) 345-VOTE (8683) or contact your county elections office
  1. How do I verify my voter registration status
  2. How do I become a permanent vote-by-mail voter? Update your voter registration status to become a permanent vote-by-mail voter at RegisterToVote.ca.gov
  3. How do I submit my vote-by-mail ballot? 
  4. Once I’ve submitted my ballot, how can I track my vote-by-mail ballot? 
  5. Is California working directly with the United States Postal Service to prepare for the Election?
  6. Do vote-by-mail ballots need stamps?
  7. Will safe in-person voting be available? 
  8. How do I apply to become an elections poll worker?

 Related Resources

Research and studies that are mentioned in the webinar can be found here.

Center for Inclusive Democracy (CID), at USC Sol Price School of Public Policy –

Cybersecurity and Election Interference

In 2016, national intelligence agencies confirmed that the Russian government interfered with the 2016 presidential election. This was done through propaganda created on social media platforms. No successful hacking of elections systems occurred. To prevent this from happening again and to prevent possible security breaches, Congress allocated $380 million in 2018, to help states strengthen their election cybersecurity. How has California used funding to strengthen the state’s voting system? What concerns were state elections officials addressing when they made their decisions? 

In this webinar, campus student leaders explore election security issues with experts – California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, and Alliance for Securing Democracy’s David Levine.

 

Please click on the lower right corner of the video for captions.

Part 1: Introductions (0:00-3:47)
Part 2: Clarifying the Threat (3:38-22:07)
Part 3: California’s Preparation (22:08-28:14)
Part 4: Securing Elections & Next Steps (28:15-35:11)
Part 5: A Debunked “Threat” & Closing (35:12-43:32)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

Click on any of the FAQs below which will guide you to the relevant California Secretary of State web pages. Use your state’s Secretary of State website as the primary source for elections and voting information. 

  1. What is a provisional ballot? What happens after you cast it? 
  1. What is a common misunderstanding about provisional ballots? 
  1. How can you check the status of your provisional ballot by phone or online?

  2. Where are the safe in-person voting locations in my county? 
  1. What is the Office of Election Cybersecurity and Enterprise Risk Management
  1. How is California working with national intelligence agencies to improve election cybersecurity



  2. How are elections secured in California in all phases of the elections process?



  3. What is California doing to curb election misinformation – Vote Sure Initiative, Vote Safe Portal?

  4. In addition to voting, how can voters help combat elections misinformation?

Related Resources

Research and studies that are mentioned in the webinar can be found here. For accurate and timely information, we recommend that you begin your research here.

  1. National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) – #TRUSTEDINFO2020
  2. U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Homeland Security –
  3. Alliance for Securing Democracy (ASD)

  4. University of Pittsburgh, Institute for Cyber Law, Policy, and Security (Pitt Cyber) –

  5. National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) – State Statutes Prohibiting Tampering with Voting Systems

  6. Sierra College Library’s Database – This database can be accessed with a Sierra College username and password.

Use these resources to find information on elections, polling locations, early voting and how to vote by mail. 

State of California

Counties Near/Serving Sierra College Students*

* Election information varies by county

Cities/Towns that have a Sierra College Campus or Center

Use the non-partisan resources below to learn about your representatives, candidates, ballot measures, and more. 

Find Your Representatives

California Legislature

You are represented by one (1) Assembly Member and one (1) State Senator:

 U.S. Congress

You are represented by one (1) House Member and two (2) U.S. Senators:

Your Ballot

Candidates & Ballot Measures

Candidates

Ballot Measures

Money and Campaigns

Sierra College Library Guide, Election 2020 – Campaign Finance 

Fact Checking

Sierra College Library Guide, Election 2020 – Be an Informed Voter

For the Nov. 2020 election, the Rocklin campus Vote Center serves all Placer County voters. The NCC campus Vote Center serves all Nevada County voters. 

Vote Centers are opened a few days earlier than most in-person polling places. They include in-person voting, vote-by-mail ballot drop off, and same-day voter registration.

Sierra College - Rocklin Campus
J-Building
5100 Sierra College Blvd, Rocklin

  • October 31, 2020 8am – 4pm
  • November 1, 2020 9am – 5pm
  • November 2, 2020 9am – 5pm
  • Election Day 7am – 8pm

To find other locations in Placer County, please contact the Placer County Elections Office.  

Sierra College - Nevada County Campus
Gymnasium
250 Sierra College Dr., Grass Valley 

  • October 31, 2020 8am – 5pm
  • November 1, 2020 8am – 5pm
  • November 2, 2020 8am – 5pm
  • Election Day 7am – 8pm 

To find other locations in Nevada County, please contact the Nevada County Elections Office.

Civic Engagement

Consider participating in civic engagement programs and activities to gain exposure to current issues, which may impact your life, while also learning self-agency and how to inspire positive change in our community.

County elections officials depend on reliable, dedicated teams of poll workers to make every Election Day run smoothly. During the COVID-19 Pandemic, poll workers will be even more critical to our democracy. Sign-up today to serve your community. Apply at the Secretary of State’s Vote Safe California Poll Worker Portal.

Who can be a poll worker?

  • A registered California voter
  • A legal resident of the United States who would be eligible to vote except for their citizenship status
  • An eligible high school student

 What does a poll worker do?

  • Sets up and closes a polling place
  • Helps voters understand their rights
  • Protects ballots and voting equipment

 Why be a poll worker?

  • Get involved and assist voters
  • Contribute to your community
  • Earn extra money (amount varies by county)
  • Big Time – Attend a traditional celebration of Spring by local tribes, which offers education about local indigenous tribes, dance performances, and speakers.
  • Black Heritage Celebration – Celebrate black culture in the United States of America during a multi-day event by listening to short talks, guest speakers, and poetry.
  • Campus Cleanup Day – Help keep our campus beautiful by picking up debris on and around our campus community on specific days during the spring and fall semesters.
  • Campus Safety Walk – Volunteer to walk with teams around campus to look for areas that may need to be repaired to increase safety, such as broken or dim lights, unsafe walking paths to inform Facilities and Campus Safety of any issues.
  • Cesar Chavez Higher Education Speaker Series – Attend our annual forum, which brings in nationally-recognized experts who address the most pressing issues facing our nation. These forums provide for ongoing dialogue about contemporary issues.
  • Constitution Day – Commemorate the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787. To celebrate, Campus Life and student clubs host interactive activities and hand-out pocket-size constitutions to students during this celebration.
  • Earth Day – Promote a sustainable future by learning about conservation, preservation, and how to minimize your carbon footprint at our multi-day event.
  • Free Tax Preparation Day – Receive free tax preparation assistance during tax season.
  • Know Your Rights Presentation – Come learn about your constitutional rights and how to navigate the parameters of free speech on college campuses.
  • Mes de Latinx – Celebrate Latinx histories, cultures, and contributions in the United States of America during a multi-day celebration that includes short talks, guest speakers and poetry.
  • People and Cultures Day – Foster world peace and promote understanding of different cultures and global issues.

Contact Campus Life Office

Rocklin Campus L 193

  • Phone: (916) 660-7380
  • Fax: (916) 630-4514
  • Fall and Spring Hours
    M-Th: 8:30am - 5:00pm

Nevada County Campus N5 104