Become a part of Suffolk's voting community. #suffolkvotes

A cornerstone of Suffolk’s identity is civic engagement and encouraging students to participate in the democratic process, which includes voting in elections. Suffolk Votes is a non-partisan, university-wide effort to get students registered, educated, and out to vote in local, state, and national elections. Learn more about Suffolk Votes.

Registering to Vote

In some cases, students can complete most of or all of the registration process online, depending on the state in which you are registering. However, each state’s registration process is different. Because of this, we encourage you to take advantage of in-person voter registration where you can be sure to complete the process fully and accurately.

Visit Suffolk's Center for Community Engagement in Sawyer 824 to register in person and have any questions you may have answered by one of our Suffolk Votes Student Ambassadors or Center staff.

If you prefer to proceed on your own and are eligible to register online, we have provided additional resources to complete your registration online.

Download the Video Transcript [PDF]

Statehouse capital building at sunset, gold dome reflecting sunlight.

Voting Matters


00:01 [Music]

00:03 Hi Suffolk Community.

00:05 I'm Rachael Cobb - Chair of the Political Science and Legal Studies department.

00:10 Here at Suffolk there is a strong tradition of service, participation, and political engagement.

00:19 As a political scientist who studies how people can successfully run for office and why people participate in the political system, and why people don't participate in the political

00:29 system, I can tell you politicians pay a lot of attention to who votes and they respond.

00:38 Voting matters.

00:39 When voters don't turn out to choose their local and state governments they receive a government that doesn't represent them.

00:48 Voting for state, local and national representatives has very real consequences for the policies we get, the amount we pay in taxes, the services we receive, the world we want.

00:60 Suffolk University has won awards for the high level of voting in national elections - the silver medal from the all-in campus challenge.

01:10 We are so proud of our accomplishments but we know we can do more and this year we're going for gold.

01:18 In most states, before you can actually cast a ballot, you must register to vote first.

01:23 Some states like Massachusetts require that you register 20 days before an election.

01:28 Other states - like New Hampshire - permit you to register the same day as the election.

01:37 Where you register to vote is determined by where you live.

01:40 So if you live in Boston, even in a dorm, you can register to vote in Boston.

01:45 If you want to vote in your home state but cannot get there on the actual election day, then you'll want to get an absentee ballot from your local election office.

01:53 Which essentially means that you vote by mail.

01:56 Requesting an absentee ballot takes time, however.

01:58 Which is why we say "plan ahead".

02:00 And you cannot vote absentee unless you are registered to vote.

02:04 In many states you can register to vote online.

02:12 If you're uncertain about any of this of have questions, people in the Center for Community Engagement are happy to help.

02:20 They have voter registration forms available, and they can answer all of your questions - so don't be afraid to ask.