Student Voting Guide: 2022 Midterm Election

3 students talk at a table in the library.Did you know that people between the ages 18 and 24 are the least likely to vote? According to the U.S. Census Bureau, voter turnout in the 2020 election “increased as age increased,” with older, wealthier, and highly educated individuals being the most likely to vote.

What does this mean? Low voter turnout by age and demographics directly translates to less representation for marginalized and young voters in local and national offices. The good news? We can change that trend by increasing the voter turnout of people like you. Whether you're a first-time voter or vote in every election, keep reading for important deadlines and voting instructions. This midterm election, make sure your voice is heard.

(Interested in learning more about the history and importance of U.S. voting rights? Check out our voting research guide and voting rights booklist.)

Register to Vote

1. Register to vote online before Friday, October 28 at 5:00 pm.

The registration process is simple, easy, and only takes a few minutes. If you miss the October 28th registration deadline, you can still register at a polling location on election day. (You'll just need to provide two forms of identification.)

2. Check your voter registration status.

If you've already registered, check that your voter status is active. You’ll be prompted to enter your personal identification info, and the page will display your ballot mailing address, voting precinct and district, and your voter status. You'll also see options on this page to update your ballot mailing address and voter information.

Research Candidates

1. Learn what candidates and measures will be on your ballot.

Prep for the election by researching the candidates in advance! Sites like Ballotpedia and Vote411 are nonpartisan resources to view sample ballots, learn about ballot measures, and research the candidates up for election. All you need to do is enter your permanent address to generate a local ballot.

2. Research a candidate's website, social media, and voting record.

Once you know who will be on your ballot, you can research a candidate's stances on their individual website and social media; both can convey their priorities, background, and experience. If the candidate has previously been in office, you can research whether their stances align with their actions. Visit govtrack.us to view congressional voting records.

Vote

1. Learn how you can vote.

Know your options, then make a voting plan. Once you follow the above link and enter your permanent address, the webpage will display ballot drop-box locations, dates to postmark or return your ballot, and in-person voting locations in your county.

Utah is primarily a vote-by-mail state, so you’ll automatically receive a ballot at the address you registered to vote with. (You can update your ballot mailing address, but it needs to match the physical address on your state-issued ID.) You can even track your ballot, so you'll know when it's been mailed to you and when it's been counted.

2. Postmark your ballot on or before November 7th or return your ballot to a drop box before 5:00 pm on November 8th.

You've registered to vote and done the research—now for the best part. When your ballot comes in the mail, read the instructions, fill in your choices, and sign the ballot. From there, put the ballot in the mail or return it to a drop-box location. It's that easy.

3. If you prefer, vote in person November 8th.

Missed the deadlines to vote by mail? No problem. Find your polling locations and their hours of operation, then schedule time in your calendar to vote in person. Remember that if you are in line when the polls close, you are legally allowed to vote.

Need Help?

If you have questions about voting in Utah, visit vote.utah.gov.