Constitution Day and exercising the right to vote

To: UC Santa Cruz community

From: Chancellor Cynthia Larive and Campus Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Lori Kletzer

Today is Constitution Day, a federal observance that recognizes the signing of the U.S. Constitution on this day in 1787 in Philadelphia. Citizens exercising the right to vote is a bedrock of our constitutional democracy, and we encourage you to participate in this most fundamental aspect of civic engagement. With the general election about six weeks away, now is the time to make sure you're prepared to cast a ballot.

Register to vote
There is still time to register to vote for the Nov. 3 election. California residents can register online. Your registration must be postmarked or submitted electronically no later than Oct. 19.

The University of California has developed a website to help students register to vote for the first time or to re-register with their current address.

Double check your registration
If you’re already registered to vote, take two minutes to double-check your registration online through California’s voter-status website. Anything incorrect can be corrected online.

Track your ballot
Vote-by-mail ballots will be issued Oct. 5, so it’s well worth registering as soon as possible so you can receive your ballot early. The California Secretary of State is also offering a new way for voters to track and receive notifications on the status of their mail-in ballot through the Where’s My Ballot? website.

Cast your ballot
While polls will be open for in-person voting, many people may choose to vote by mail this year. Those ballots can be dropped off at any polling station on Election Day or at designated ballot drop-off locations prior to Election Day. If you are not voting in Santa Cruz County, check your local county for more information.

UC Santa Cruz will again have a polling location on campus at the Merrill Cultural Center. The polling station will be open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Nov 2-3 for in-person voting and ballot drop-off. There is also an official ballot drop-off box located in front of the Bay Tree Bookstore. The campus is also providing election and voting information online

Same-day voter registration
Same-day voter registration, known as conditional voter registration in state law, is a safety net for Californians who have missed the deadline to register to vote or to update their voter registration information for an election.

Eligible voters who need to register or re-register to vote within 14 days of an election can complete this process and vote at a county elections office, polling place, or voting center. Their ballots will be processed and counted once the county elections office has completed the voter-verification process.

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

More information about Constitution Day is available online