Voting is an essential form of civic engagement. The Gephardt Institute facilitates this process by actively encouraging voter registration and participation in local, state, and national elections. Equally important to the voting process is the cultivation of informed citizens who know what they are voting about, and why.  Learn about our goals and how we will achieve them in our Engage Democracy plan.

Want to get involved and support voter engagement?

WashU Votes is a student organization that promotes voter engagement and education for undergraduates at WashU. By joining WashU Votes, students have the opportunity to expand civic engagement on campus while becoming more educated about issues facing our local, state, and federal communities.

Get Involved with WashU Votes

Any undergraduate student with an interest in civic engagement or civic education. Follow WashU Votes on Instagram (@washuvotes) for updates, or join WashU Votes on WUGO, and join the WashU Votes Slack.

  • Join WashU Votes
    Join our student-led volunteer efforts by completing our interest form and following us on Facebook.
  • Attend Engage Democracy Steering Committee Meetings
    Our steering committee includes faculty, staff, undergraduate students, and graduate students, and meets quarterly with staff from the Gephardt Institute. The committee’s role is to provide insights and recommendations on strategies to engage the entire campus community in activities, messages, and opportunities related to civic and voter engagement, and to equip our students with the skills needed to participate in a thriving democracy.

General Voting Information and Resources

Beyond the presidential election, ongoing participation in local elections is essential for making sure your voice counts.

  • Students voting absentee in other states can check for nonpartisan information about local elections and learn what will be on the ballot based on their address. 
  • Show one form of identification, eligible under Missouri’s voter ID law
  • WashU students can get free postage and envelopes to send election mail from the South 40, Village, and Lofts mail rooms, courtesy of the Gephardt Institute.

If you have any questions, please email the Voter Engagement Coordinator, Louis Damani Jones, at

General Voting FAQs

Can I register to vote in Missouri?

If a student has an active residence and mailing address in Missouri, they can vote in Missouri. Note that students taking classes from outside of Missouri must register to vote wherever they are staying.

Am I an Missouri Resident?

So long as you have an address in Missouri, you can be considered a Missouri resident for voting purposes.

Can I register to vote in my home state or do I have to register in Missouri?

It’s up to you to decide. You can register to vote in your home state if you would prefer.

Should I vote absentee or mail-in?

If you have a valid absentee excuse, you can vote absentee by mail. If you do not have a valid absentee excuse but still wish to vote by mail, you can vote using a mail-in ballot.

According to a new Missouri law, you may also absentee vote in-person, without an excuse. You may do so any time within the 2 weeks preceding an election.

If I request a mail-in ballot can I still vote in person?

Yes, so long as your mail-in ballot vote has not been counted. Go to the polls on Election Day and tell the election official you requested a mail-in ballot but would like it spoiled (cancelled). The election official will check to make sure your mail-in vote has not counted and then will give you a ballot to vote in person.

How can I track my ballot once I mail it in?

Some ballots, including St. Louis ballots, will come with a QR code or other way to track the ballot. Simply keep that information after you mail your ballot in and follow the instructions to track your ballot.

How early should I send my ballot to make sure it is counted?

USPS recommends sending your ballot in 10 days before it needs to be received.

Learn more about voter registration and local polling places.

More Voting FAQs

Have questions about voting?  Click here to review many frequently asked voting questions.

Faculty Voter Engagement

Implementing voter engagement resources into the classroom is one way to increase student voter turnout. On this page, there are a variety of course resources including sample messaging to students, PowerPoint slides, Canvas reminders, and more.