Brown Votes – Faculty Guide

ADD KEY VOTING DATES TO YOUR SYLLABUS (highlight them in class)

9/20 – National Voter Registration Day – Register if you haven’t already done so.  Review and update your registration information. Request an absentee/mail-in ballot. (Free stamps are available at Mail Services and the Swearer Center)

10/11 –  Last chance to request Absentee Ballot – With the election only one month away, now is the time to request an absentee ballot if you haven’t done so.  State election laws vary in RI mail-in ballot requests must be received 21 days before the election  (Free stamps are available at Mail Services and the Swearer Center)

11/1 – Mail Absentee ballot.  Mail your ballot if you haven’t already done so!  Most states require that ballots be received by election day.  (Free stamps are available at Mail Services and the Swearer Center)

11/8 – Election Day (No Classes)


You can find instructions on adding library resource guides here:


Try these sample messages as a Canvas announcement. Adjust the language to fit your message and class.


As a student in this class, we expect that each of you will apply your studies to action. One critical way to act is through voter participation — research your elections, make a plan to vote, and encourage your community to turn out.

  • Register to vote & request your ballot by 9/20
  • Submit your ballot (if voting by mail) by 10/13
  • Turnout on Election Day on 11/8 will guide you through the process. If you are not eligible to vote in US elections, mobilize three friends to vote. Elections affect all of us.

Key Voting Date Messaging

National Voter Registration & Request Your Ballot Day — 9/20

Today is National Voter Registration & Request Your Ballot Day! Register to vote or update your registration. If you are registered to vote at home, request your absentee ballot today. Add a ‘vote at the polls’ to your calendar and invite three friends. can guide you through the process.

10/11 Request your mail-in or absentee ballot

With the election only one month away,  now is the time to request an absentee ballot if you haven’t done so.  State election laws vary in RI mail in ballot requests must be recieved 21 days before the election.

11/1 – Mail Your Absentee ballot today!

Last chance to mail your ballot!  Most states require that ballots be received by election day. 

Election Day — 11/8

Today is Election Day! When and where are you voting? To find your RI polling location – click here.


  • Turbovote Slides
  • Why I Vote Slide
  • Absentee Ballot/Logistical Slide for Closer to Election day


Faculty members can serve as mentors to students and encourage democratic participation by connecting it to their course material or research.  Faculty members, particularly in fields that may seem distant from democratic engagement or have traditionally low student voter turnout, can make an immense difference by facilitating dialogue on this topic. For instance, professors in STEM fields can focus on the public challenges of climate change or engage in hack-a-thons around specific community problems.

Here are some ideas for incorporating information about the importance of voting into the curriculum of various subjects or programming for your department!

  • Life Sciences: Hold a facilitated discussion on climate and energy. Train students on how to communicate their research findings with elected officials.
  • Engineering: Discuss how voting or legislation affects research and development projects, funding, and subsidies for different kinds of technology.
  • Social Sciences: Design an ethnography of nonvoters.
  • Computer Science: Design and implement solutions to mail-in voting systems.
  • Statistics: Assign a problem set that analyzes voting power across different municipalities or states.
  • Health: Hypothesize the future of health care based on voting behavior.
  • Design: Redesign the voting booth or the voter registration form.
  • History & Law: Discuss voting enfranchisement over time.


Signal your commitment to voting in all your communications. Sample messages are included below:

  • Be a voter. 
  • Register for TurboVote and never miss an election.
  • 2022 is here. Vote with me!
  • Want to engage voters with me?
  • Are you ready for November 11? Register to vote.
  • I vote because: ___________.
  • Register. Engage. Vote.
  • Don’t just talk about change. Vote.
  • Education is preparing you to vote.

Add an Announcement to Your Department’s Newsletter

Using some of the language drafted above, you can add announcements on important dates and resources for voting to your department or DUG’s weekly newsletters!


Departmental Events

  • Invite local elected officials to speak about your academic subjects’ relationship to public leadership.
  • Hold a “Why I Vote” event.
  • Integrate a voter engagement table into an existing gathering.

Be a Poll Worker — Working at the polls is a great way to be involved in the democratic process.  Brown University gives Faculty, Staff, and Students federal election days off.  Working the polls is an excellent way to serve our community and help others vote.


Brown Votes —Brown Votes is a non-partisan, campus-wide, collective impact initiative committed to preparing students with the skills and experiences necessary to become informed voters with a lifelong commitment to the habits of democracy.  Led by students, faculty, and staff, and supported by the Swearer Center.  Brown Votes works to streamline voter initiatives across Brown University by acting as a hub for resource-sharing, communication, and coordination. For more information, visit our website (, Twitter (@Brown_Votes), Instagram (@BrownVotes), and Facebook (Brown Votes).

TurboVote — Brown partners with TurboVote to make sure you always know when elections are happening and have the information you need to vote with confidence. Sign up to receive election reminders, get registered to vote, and apply for your absentee ballot! –

Library Resources –— Brown’s library has a comprehensive guide on all things voting available for student and faculty use. It contains links to sites like TurboVote and specific resources on voting laws in Rhode Island, voter eligibility, information on being a poll worker, and much more. You can access the Brown Library Guide for Voting at