Student Voting FAQs


Students enrolled in Colleges & Universities in the District of Columbia

In the District of Columbia, students have the right to establish voting residency with their current school address. 

You can establish residency in the District of Columbia if you have a present intention to remain at your D.C. school address for the time being, and you intend to make it your principal home. Your plans after graduation do not necessarily affect your current intention to be a DC resident.

You will need to provide proof of residency in DC to register to vote. Your student housing facility can provide proof of residency, or you may use a copy of a bill from them. You may also use your rental lease, a recent bank statement, utility bill, or paycheck as long as it includes your name and local address.

DC residents studying at schools outside of the District of Columbia

If you want to vote in DC

DC residents studying studying at schools outside the District of Columbia have the right to claim their previous DC address (such as their parents' address) that they still consider to be 'home'. You may register to vote online and vote by absentee ballot. 

Sign Up for an Absentee Ballot. You need to apply for an absentee ballot at least seven days before the election and your ballot must be received by the DC Board of Elections no later than 8 pm on Election Day. For a General Election, keep in mind that the US Postal Service typically is a bit slower with delivery of mail.

If you register online AND vote by mail, you will need to send proof of residency with your absentee ballot. This may include a copy of your DC Driver's License or State ID, a recent bank statement, utility bill (including your cell phone bill), or paycheck as long as it includes your name and a local address.

If you want to vote in the state you are going to school in 

Voting laws in different states varies. Before you make the important decision about where to vote, make sure you know the rules (and sometimes consequences) of registering to vote in that state. For more information, check out the Campus Voter Project for voter registration and requirement information in each state. 

Financial Aid, Tuition, Health Insurance, & Taxes

There is a lot of misinformation out there regarding what can happen to students when they register and vote. For more information, check out the Brennan Center's FAQs for Student Voting.