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Civic Engagement

Civic Engagement 

"Civic engagement means working to make a difference in the civic life of our communities and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values and motivation to make that difference. It means promoting the quality of life in a community, through both political and non-political processes." Civic Responsibility and Higher Education, edited by Thomas Ehrlich, Oryx Press, 2000.

There are various forms of civic engagement, such as voter participation, organizational involvement and volunteering, people develop and use knowledge, skills, and voice to cultivate positive change. Such actions can help improve the conditions that influence health and well-being for all.

Why is it important?

Civic Engagement inspires students to see themselves as part of the larger social fabric and to be informed and active citizens in our local, national, and global communities. It offers learning experiences where students develop the knowledge, skills, and motivation they need for responsible engagement in our diverse society. 

You can make a difference! Those who are concerned with national and community affairs become active, influential and responsible participants in society. Being involved and working with others for the community as a whole, moves us beyond our own personal interests. We get to know community issues and are inspired to join in seeking solutions.

Get Involved

Looking for ways to be a more active citizen? Here are a few places to start:


I Count Images for Census 2020
Images provided by Census Accelerate.


Census 2020 

The U.S. Census is a way to count the population of the United States. The census takes place every 10 years and is mandated by the U.S. Constitution. 

Every individual/household in the United States can complete the census. You do not have to be a U.S. Citizen or legal resident to fill out the census. International students and undocumented individuals living in the U.S. can fill out the census.

The census provides federal funding, grants, and support to states based off of the state’s total and demographic (e.g., race, sex, age, etc.) population. Non-profit organizations, businesses, local government, real estate developers and city planners use census information to improve our local community.

Update: Statement from Census Bureau. The Census Bureau will end field data collection by September 30, 2020. Self-response options (online, mail or phone) will also close on that date to permit the commencement of data processing. 

Voter Engagement 

Voter engagement is about learning how to participate in upcoming elections through voter registration and turnout, but it also involves opportunities for students to become educated about important dates and voter participation, as well as first-hand experience of why civic participation through voting is so important.

The Office of Community Engagement works with a number of campus and community partners to provide comprehensive voter engagement programs and information to all CSUSB students, faculty and staff. Below, you will find many useful resources to prepare you for the 2020 elections, and beyond! 


Make your voice heard, the first step is getting registered to vote!

Register to Vote

Not sure if you are registered to vote?

Have you registered to vote? Check here!

Additional CSUSB Voter Resources

Important Dates and Deadline

National Voter Registration Day

Tuesday, September 22, 2020


Voter Registration Deadline

Online and/or postmarked by Tuesday, October 20, 2020


Request Absentee Ballot

Received by Tuesday, October 20, 2020 (Due to COVID, On May 8, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-64-20, which, among other things, orders that a vote-by-mail ballot be mailed to each voter prior to the November 3, 2020 in addition to offering in-person voting locations)


General Election

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Frequently Asked Questions

As a college student living away from home, where should I register?

Students can choose to vote at whichever county they would like to. However, it is recommended to register to vote where you will be living during election day for convenience purposes.

Can I vote in-person?

Polls are open on Election Day: November 3, 2020 from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

The location of your polling place is printed on the back page of the county Voter Information Guide your county elections official mailed to you.

You can also find your polling place:

✆ By calling (800) 345-VOTE (8683)

 Online at

 By texting Vote to GOVOTE (468683)

California in-person voting safety guidelines


Vote Early in Person

Some counties offer early voting at a few locations before Election Day.

Contact your county elections office to see if they offer early voting.





What ID is accepted to register?

An ID is not needed to register to vote, however it is recommended to bring one with you when you vote.

The following are accepted:

Is there a deadline to register to vote in-person?

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020, is the last day you can register to vote in-person.

Same Day Voter Registration, known as Conditional Voter Registration in state law, is a safety net for Californians who miss the deadline to register to vote or update their voter registration information for an election. The ballots will be processed and counted once the county elections office has completed the voter registration verification process.

Visit for a list of early voting locations where you can complete the Same Day Voter Registration Process

How does vote-by-mail ballot work?

Registered voters do not need to apply for a vote-by-mail ballot for the November 3, 2020. 

Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-64-20, which, among other things, orders that a vote-by-mail ballot be mailed to each voter prior to the November 3, 2020 in addition to offering in-person voting locations.

You may return your voted ballot by:

  1. Mailing it to your county elections official
    • Vote-by-mail ballots that are mailed must be postmarked on or before Election Day and received by your county elections office no later than 17 days after Election Day.  
    • If you are not sure your vote-by-mail ballot will arrive in time if mailed, bring it to any polling place in the state between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. on Election Day.
  2. Returning it in person to a polling place or the office of your county elections official;
    • Vote-by-mail ballots that are personally delivered must be delivered no later than the close of polls at 8:00 p.m. on Election Day.
  3. Dropping your ballot into one of your county’s ballot drop boxes; or
    • Vote-by-mail ballots that are personally delivered to a ballot drop-off location must be delivered no later than the close of polls at 8:00 p.m. on Election Day.
  4. Authorizing someone to return the ballot on your behalf.
    • Anyone may return your ballot for you, as long as they do not get paid on a per ballot basis. In order for your ballot to be counted, you must fill out the authorization section found on the outside of your ballot envelope.

When your vote-by-mail ballot is received by your county elections official, your signature on the return envelope will be compared to the signature on your voter registration card to ensure they match. To preserve the secrecy of your ballot, the ballot will then be separated from the envelope, and then it will be tallied.

All valid vote-by-mail ballots are counted in every election in California, regardless of the outcome or closeness of any race. For additional information on how and when ballots are verified and tabulated. 

Am I eligible to vote?

Yes, there are some requirements in order to vote.


  • Must be registered to vote in California
    • Must be a United States citizen
    • Be resident of California
    • 18 years old or older (on election day)
      • If you are 16-17 years old you can pre-register to vote and will become voter-eligible when you turn 18
    • NOT be incarcerated (state or federal prison) or on parole for a felony conviction
    • NOT be found mentally incompetent to vote by a court
Why would I have to re-register to vote?

Reasons to re-register to vote is if:

  • If you have moved
  • If you changed your legal name
  • If you have changed political parties
  • If your signature has changed you must re-register