Be a Voter Photo by Dan Dennis

Your 2020 Guide to Voting: Tips for Bootcamp Students

Attending a bootcamp or changing your career means you’re constantly busy. Whether you’re taking online classes, job hunting or learning a new skill, it seems like there’s always something else to do. It’s understandable if juggling all of these personal responsibilities might make it feel like voting is at the bottom of your list.

Here’s a guide to help you feel more prepared and ensure you’re ready to cast your vote (whether in person or by mail) before or on Election Day (and, more importantly, get your “I voted” sticker) on November 3rd.

How do I find out where and when to vote?

This year, our National Election Day falls on Tuesday, November 3rd. This is a massively consequential day for the presidential election, but don’t forget there are many state and local issues to vote on as well in your local primary elections. When and where you can vote on these issues depends on where you live, which can be confusing (don’t worry, we’ll cover that in another section).

Not sure if you’re registered to vote? Head Count enables you to verify your registration status in any state. Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), there’s been ongoing developments about election guidelines and polling places, so be sure to check Head Count’s polling place locator for any updates as Election Day gets closer.

How do I vote by mail? What is an absentee ballot?

Absentee voting (aka “mail-in voting” or “by-mail voting”) is the process of voting by mail, instead of in-person. This voting method allows you to receive a ballot in the mail to cast your vote at home, then simply put it in an envelope or sleeve that’s provided, and then into a separate mailing envelope. For your vote to count, don’t forget to sign the outside of the envelope (this proves you marked the ballot and no one else!) before returning it through the mail or dropping it off.

Not only can it be convenient to vote at home, you might also find you have more time to research specific propositions or candidates before making a final decision. Some studies even suggest that voter turnout increases with mail-in voting, given the unfortunate reality that financial constraints may sometimes stand in the way of voters making it to their local polling place on time.

Normally, you would need to request to receive an absentee ballot, but due to COVID-19, most states are organizing to offer automatic mail-in voting. Not sure where your state stands? Check here.

What can I do to encourage other people to vote?

Want to do what you can to make Election Day a big deal with your peers? Here’s a few ways to get more people involved:

- Volunteer! There are so many ways to support the cause right now, both in-person and online. You can get in touch with your local campaign office to find out how you can help by doing things such as making phone calls or distributing signs.

- Host a (virtual) Election Day party. What’s the perfect way to remind people in your circle to register to vote? An early invite to your Election Day Zoom party! Catch up and discuss the issues you’re passionate about over some chips and dip – just don’t forget your laptop.

- Talk about it. Whether you bring it up on on social media or through texting a friend, take the initiative to start the conversation around voting.

Want to earn money for having an active voice in your community? Skills Fund’s sister company, Ascent, is giving away a $1,000 scholarship to students who are making an impact and supporting the social causes that motivate them. College or bootcamp students can enter for a chance to win by visiting AscentStudentLoans.com/SocialCauseScholarship.

Skills Fund Written, Native Advertising Disclosure

Skills Fund, LLC (“Skills Fund”) sponsors these blog posts and creates informational content that is of interest to prospective borrowers and our applicants. The information included in this blog post could include technical or other inaccuracies or typographical errors. It is solely your responsibility to evaluate the accuracy, completeness and usefulness of all opinions, advice, services, merchandise and other information provided herein. SKILLS FUND IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR, AND EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ALL LIABILITY FOR, DAMAGES OF ANY KIND ARISING OUT OF USE, REFERENCE TO, OR RELIANCE ON ANY INFORMATION CONTAINED WITHIN THESE BLOG POSTS (INCLUDING THIRD-PARTY SITES). SKILLS FUND OFFERS LINKS TO THIRD PARTY WEBSITES AND ARTICLES SOLELY FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES. WHEN YOU CLICK ON THESE LINKS YOU WILL LEAVE THE SKILLS FUND WEBSITE AND WILL BE REDIRECTED TO ANOTHER SITE. THESE SITES ARE NOT UNDER THE DIRECTION OR CONTROL OF SKILLS FUND. WE ARE NOT AN AGENT FOR THESE THIRD PARTIES NOR DO WE ENDORSE OR GUARANTEE THEIR PRODUCTS OR THEIR WEBSITE CONTENT. SKILLS FUND MAKES NO REPRESENTATIONS REGARDING THE SUITABILITY OR ACCURACY OF THE CONTENT IN SUCH SITES AND WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY OF THE CONTENT OF LINKED THIRD-PARTY WEBSITES.