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.
Recognized for Excellence in Student Voter Engagement
Sierra College was presented with a silver seal from the All In Campus Democracy Challenge for having a 60-69% voting rate during the 2020 presidential election. To learn more, visit the Student Voting Rates for Sierra College: 2020 NSLVE Campus Report.
- Last Day to Register to Vote in the Presidential Primary Election – Tuesday, February 20, 2024
- 2024 California Presidential Primary Election – Tuesday, March 5, 2024
- General Election – Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2024
Are You Eligible to Vote?
To vote in California, you must be:
- A U.S. citizen and a resident of California,
- 18 years or older on Election Day,
- Not currently in state or federal prison or on parole for the conviction of a felony. For more information, please see Voting Rights: Persons with a Criminal History.
- And, not currently found mentally incompetent to vote by a court. For more information, please see Voting Rights: Persons Subject to Conservatorship.
To vote in California, you’ll need to be registered in California. Not registered yet, or not sure if you’re registered?
- Register to Vote
- Pre-Register to Vote
- Check Your Registration Status
- California Voter Information Guide
Translated Voter Materials
नए मतदाता (Hindi)
새 유권자 (Korean)
Magparehistro para Makaboto (Tagalog)
Cử Tri Mới (Vietnamese)
All active registered voters will receive a vote-by-mail ballot.
A vote-by-mail voter may vote by mail, in person at the Office of the County elections official, a satellite office established by the elections official, polling place, or vote center on or before the day of the election.
Frequently Asked Questions About Vote-By-Mail
- Will there be early voting?
- How do I verify my voter registration status?
- How do I submit my vote-by-mail ballot?
- Once I’ve submitted my ballot, how can I track my vote-by-mail ballot?
- How do I apply to become an elections poll worker?
- California Secretary of State Election Information
- California Voter Information Guide
- County Elections Offices in California (election information varies by county)
- Early Voting and Vote-by-Mail Ballot Drop-Off Locations
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 Serving Sierra College Students
Use the non-partisan resources below to learn about your representatives, candidates, ballot measures, and more.
Find Your Representatives
You are represented by one (1) Assembly Member and one (1) State Senator:
You are represented by one (1) House Member and two (2) U.S. Senators:
National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement (NSLVE)
Colleges and universities nationwide are working to increase political learning across disciplines, decrease political polarization and social divides, and bolster student engagement in democracy. The NSLVE provides Student Voting Rates Reports specific to Sierra College, which illustrate our institution’s and students’ voting data.
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? Watch Ensuring Participation Increasing Voter Access.
Click on any of the FAQs below, which will guide you to the relevant California Secretary of State web pages. Use the website as the primary source for elections and voting information.
- What is Same Day Voter Registration?
- Who is eligible to Pre-Register to Vote before age 18? And, how do I pre-register?
- Is there in-person early voting in my county? Where do I drop off my vote-by-mail ballot
- Where is my polling place?
- What is the California Voter’s Choice Act (VCA)?
- Does my county participate in VCA?
- How does California ensure access to Voters with Disabilities? Check out the following two videos: Accessible Vote-by-Mail for Voters with Disabilities and Vote Centers and Accessibility.
- If an individuals have a primary language preference other than English, are voter registration applications available to them?
- Does California provide the restoration of voting rights for individuals who have been formerly incarcerated?
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.
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.
- What is a provisional ballot? What happens after you cast it?
- What is a common misunderstanding about provisional ballots?
- How can you check the status of your provisional ballot by phone or online?
- Where are the safe in-person voting locations in my county?
- What is the Office of Election Cybersecurity and Enterprise Risk Management?
- How is California working with national intelligence agencies to improve election cybersecurity?
7. How are elections secured in California in all phases of the elections process?
8. What is California doing to curb election misinformation – Vote Sure Initiative?
9. In addition to voting, how can voters help combat elections misinformation?
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.
- National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) – #TRUSTEDINFO2020
- U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Homeland Security
- Alliance for Securing Democracy (ASD)
- David Levine Testifies before House Homeland Security’s Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Innovation (Aug. 4, 2020)
- ASD & the Bipartisan Policy Center – 20 for 20: 20 Ways to Protect the 2020 Presidential Election (May 20, 2020)
4. National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) – State Statutes Prohibiting Tampering with Voting Systems
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. 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.
If you have any questions, please reach out to Juan Miguel Blanco, Civic and Voter Empowerment Coordinator (CVEC).