CalArts Votes

CalArts Announced as 2021 ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge Award Winner

On Nov. 8, 2021, the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge hosted its third biennial awards ceremony to recognize select higher education institutions, educators, and students for their extraordinary work in student voter engagement during the 2020 presidential election. 

The 2020 presidential election engaged the largest and most diverse group of college students in U.S. history, and California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) received the 2021 Gold Seal. More than 840 institutions enrolling close to nine million students participate in the ALL IN Challenge.

Read more

Election day 2024 is Nov. 5, a few things to remember: 

  • Tuesday, Nov 5: Election Day! Ballots must be postmarked by this date and returned by mail in California. Other states have different postmark dates. Please check for deadlines. Or vote in person. Find your polling place at If you were previously registered using your CalArts address, you will need to update your registration. 

  • Everyone in the state of California who is registered to vote will receive a ballot in the mail a few weeks before November 5. Please fill out your ballot and return it as soon as possible to ensure it arrives on time. California accepts ballots that are postmarked by November 5 and received up to 17 later. More Information

  • Forgot to register? You can still register at any California polling site on Election Day and vote using a Provisional ballot. Students can vote in California even if their permanent address is out of state. More Information.

  • Registered in California but can’t get to your polling site? California voters can vote at any official polling site in California by casting a Provisional (paper ballot) at ANY site in CA. Provisional ballots will be included in final vote totals and are often critical in close elections.  More information.

  • Election Day is a CalArts Holiday. CalArts believes that civic engagement is a part of education as an artist. Make sure you vote, and if you are able and feel safe doing so, volunteer to be a Poll Worker to help keep at-risk populations who normally volunteer safe, and make sure those who don’t want to vote by mail don’t have to wait in long lines. . Information for the state of California can be found here.

  • Campus election watch party. Watch democracy in action. There will be a Zoom watch party- information coming soon

Voting Resources

If you are new to voting, or are in need of a refresher course, here are a few sites that will answer the most-asked questions.

  • is a nonpartisan organization that works with musicians to promote participation in democracy.
  • Campus Vote Project works to eliminate barriers to student voting. 
  • is a nonprofit that uses technology to engage voters, help increase voter turnout and strengthen American democracy.
  • The League of Women Voters believes in the power of women to create a more perfect democracy. The nonpartisan organization neither supports nor opposes candidates or political parties at any level of government, but fpcuses on vital issues of concern to members and the public.
  • CalArts Library is creating a Voter Registration Guide, which will be uploaded here soon.

Non-Partisan Voter Information

These sites have sample ballots, candidate comparisons, early and mail-in voting information.

  • Ballotpedia: Compare candidates and issues across parties and sample ballots—specific to your zip code.
  • Campus Elect: This site offers primary, issue and primary guides.
  • Best College's Student Voting Guide: This site examines major issues, especially as they affect students, comparing each party’s stance.

Voting by Issue

Many of these sites will make comparisons, recommendations and often endorsements of candidates and/or ballot measures. Many have voter guides to print out and take into voting booth, or guides through apps for your phone. 

CalArts does offer any recommendations or endorsements of either candidates or ballot measures. 

Civil Rights
  • Human Rights Campaign: Features information and endorsements by state.

  • Equality California: Equality California  advances civil rights and social justice by inspiring, advocating, and mobilizing through an inclusive movement that works tirelessly on behalf of those they serve.

Latinx Issues
  • Latino Community Foundation: Compare candidates and issues in California

  • Voto Latino: This pioneering civic media organization provides culturally relevant programs that engage, educate and empower Latinos to be agents of change.

  • Children's Defense Fund: The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit child advocacy organization that has worked relentlessly for more than 40 years to ensure a level playing field for all children.

  • Stand for Children: This nonprofit education advocacy organization is focused on ensuring all students receive a high quality, relevant education, especially those whose boundless potential is overlooked and under-tapped because of their skin color, zip code, first language or disability

  • Earthjustice: This organization's mission: “True and lasting change happens when the power of the law is on your side. The earth needs a good lawyer.”

  • ConservAmerica: A conservative environmental organization.

  • Sierra Club: A national environmental organization 

  • League of Conservation Voters: Advocates to fight climate change.

Health Care
  • Planned Parenthood: A nonprofit organization that provides reproductive health care in the United States and globally.

  • VoteProChoice: The organization advocates for prochoice leadership, practical action and partnership. 

  • NARAL: An progressive organization that protects a woman's right to choose.

  • Focus on the Family: A conservative organization that focuses on family and pro-life issues. 

Political Party
Think Tanks

Voting: Getting started in four steps

Voting is an essential cornerstone to a democratic society. This mid-term election, you have a chance to decide the direction of both local and national issues. Use the resources on this page to prepare for the upcoming elections—then vote!

Registering to vote only takes a few minutes, and it isn't difficult. (Educating ourselves on exactly what's on the ballot is, but don't worry, we have resources for that, too.)

Step 1: Register 

If you procrastinated and missed the Oct. 22 voting registration deadline, California is one of 17 states that allows same-day voter registration

Step 2: Plan

Mail in ballot by the date required by the state in which you are registered; in California and many other states, you can also return your ballot to a polling place or a mail ballot drop off.

Step 3: Research 

What are the issues and races in your district? Bone up on the pros and cons of each issue

Step 4: Vote

Mail in ballot by the date required by the state in which you are registered; or return your sealed mail-in ballot to CalArts' Ballot Drop-off outside of Steve’s Cafe before 8 pm on Nov. 6. Or, if you want to vote in person, find your polling place and go!


Have a question? Check out the list below for a few of the most common inquiries. To find out more information, contact a CalArts librarian. If you want to get involved on campus, please contact Abby Salling at

Please keep in mind that state specific information below is only for California. Please check with your state’s Secretary of State’s office for information.

You should register to vote in the place you are currently located. If you have moved back home or to a new place since being registered, you need to updated your registration.

Many of the sites listed in the "Resources" section, above, can lead you to sample ballots and information on voting locations, early voting and mail-in ballots.

The  General Election is where Americans come together to vote for the President, Congressional representatives, Senators, State Senate and Assembly Members, as well as propositions and measures. These elections happen every 4 years, with the last one having happened in 2016. 

This election will decide weather the President stays in office for another 4 year term, or will be replaced by a different candidate.   

There are nonpartisan sites like Ballotpedia, Campus Elect and League of Women Voters where you can find information comparing candidates and issues. They don’t make endorsements; they present the information needed to make your own voting guides.

An absentee, or mail-in ballot is used to allow a voter to vote early or to vote if they are unable to make it to their designated polling place on Election Day. Regulations and deadlines for absentee ballots differ from state-to-state, but California is sending every registered voter an mail-in ballot to keep our election safe given the COVID-19 pandemic. 


California’s voter registration form asks for your California driver’s license or ID number, or the last four digits of your Social Security Number.  Source:

California does not require IDs to vote early or on Election Day in California. There are exceptions for first-time voters who didn't provide proof of ID when registering by mail or during a voter registration drive. Source:

No, but you should. You can skip contests/races/ballot measures if you don't feel certain about how to vote. 


Constitution Day

On Sept. 17, 1787, the U.S. Constitution was signed by 39 of the 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention. Commemoration of this event takes place each year by decree of Congress and signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2004. (Pub. L. 108-447, div. J, title I, Sec. 111, Dec. 8, 2004, 118Stat.3344(d); 

All institutions of higher education that receive federal funding are required to provide educational programming to inform students about the U.S.Constitution. When Constitution Day falls on a weekend or on another holiday, we observe the occasion on an adjacent weekday.

The Constitution is a vital part of the cultural heritage and the history of the United States of America and we are pleased to provide these events, resources and activities to our student body and the general public. Any events affiliated with Constitution Day will also be posted here and around campus each year.