Civic Engagement

What is the Civic Engagement Academy?

This semester long academy is designed to grow your civic engagement knowledge, skills, values, and actions through a series of workshops and programs, now virtual!

From February through April, you can build connections with other civically-minded students from across campus while learning more about your role as an engaged community member.

Whether you feel a little lost in the current political climate or want to run for office someday, the CEA is designed to grow you personally and professionally where you are.

This semester’s academy will take place primarily on Thursday evenings, and we want participants to be able to attend all events so be sure that this will work with your schedule.

Application for Spring 2021 Academy

Spring 2021 Virtual Events to Include:

Orientation: Our first event together will be an orientation, we want this cohort to get to know each other to enhance the rest of the experiences we have planned throughout the semester!

Dialogue Across Difference: We will be having a structured dialogue around our political identities, issues that are important to you, and understanding the experiences of others.

News & Media Literacy: We will attend an interactive workshop with UNCG Libraries that encourages critical thinking, civil discourse, and information literacy.

US Democracy & Elections: Participants will learn more about the democratic system we participate in by getting the scoop on who represents you and how. This workshop will also offer an overview of elections and voting.

City Council & Local Government: We’ll attend a virtual Greensboro City Council meeting to see governance in action and engage in a Q&A with a special guest.

Dissent & Protest: Participants will engage in discussion with a panel about the various ways that that dissent is practiced and viewed.

Reflection & Graduation: We’ll take a moment to process what we’ve learned through the academy and celebrate your completion with a special graduation gift.

Times and dates of these sessions will be available when our CEA application is released in January 2021. In addition to our virtual sessions listed above participants are required to complete one “elective” of their choice. These electives are offered throughout the semester at varying times and dates. You’ll learn more about these during CEA orientation.

More about the CEA

  • This is completely FREE for UNCG students
  • Students of any year are encouraged to apply
  • This program counts towards Silver level leadership challenge professional development hours
  • Students must attend all CEA programs to graduate from the academy

Our first cohort completed the Civic Engagement Academy in Fall 2019

If you have questions about the Civic Engagement Academy please contact Autumn Cox at arcox3@uncg.edu.

Voting Information

Your vote is your voice. Learn how to use it! Keep scrolling to find information about upcoming elections, how to register to vote, different ways to vote, how to request a Voting 101 workshop for your class or student group, and read through our frequently asked questions.

Upcoming Election Dates

If you are an out of state student planning on voting in your home state – please check your state’s board of elections website for any upcoming 2020 elections. If you are a North Carolina voter, or are planning to register as a North Carolina voter, the following information applies to you.

October 9, 2020: Deadline to register to vote – Voters who miss registering by this deadline can register or update their registration at any early voting site in their county during the early voting period only.

October 15-31: Early voting period: UNCG will be hosting an early voting site at the Kaplan Center where any voter registered (or registering voter) in Guilford County can vote during the early voting period. Hours and other Guilford County early voting locations can be found here. If you didn’t register before the Oct. 9th deadline you can do same-day registration and vote at the same time at an early voting site.

October 27, 5pm: Deadline to request a NC absentee ballot – Voters who were registered by the Oct. 9th deadline can request their ballot here.

November 3rd: Election Day – To vote on election day you must have registered to vote before the Oct. 9th deadline. Election day voters must vote at their assigned polling place


Registering to Vote

Please note that the deadline to register to vote in NC for the November 2020 election has passed. If you missed the voter registration deadline for an election, you may register and vote during the election’s early voting period by completing an application at an early voting site in your county and showing an election official proof of your residential address in the county.

Check if you’re registered: Not sure if you’re registered to vote or want to make sure you’re registered at your current address? The North Carolina State Board of Elections public voter search will provide you with information about when you voted, where you’re registered, what your sample ballot will look like (what you’re voting on), what districts you’re in and much more! This is also a great way to make sure your status is active.

North Carolina: https://vt.ncsbe.gov/RegLkup/ Other states: https://www.nass.org/can-i-vote

Registering in North Carolina? Students attending college in North Carolina may register at their school address. You must plan to return after temporary absences, like summer break, but do not have to plan to reside at that address permanently. Students may also choose to register or remain registered at a permanent address in North Carolina or outside the state. In this case, students may need to vote by absentee ballot or travel there to vote if the election occurs while they are physically attending school elsewhere. In North Carolina there are a few options for registering to vote:

  • Online
    • The North Carolina State Board of Elections and DMV now offer certain online voter registration services for EXISTING DMV customers. If you are a DMV customer with a North Carolina license or DMV issued ID you can register to vote, update your voter registration address, or update your party affiliation online. Visit the DMV website to use these services. 
  • In-Person
    • NC voters can register and vote in-person during early voting. Scroll down to the “Early in-person voting” section under “How to Vote” for more information on what you’ll need to bring with you that counts as proof of residency. 
  • Mail-in a Form
    •  Fill out a Voter Registration Form, print, sign, and mail the form to the proper county board of elections office. UNCG students can also pick up a voter registration form in the Office of Leadership & Civic Engagement (EUC 217) when classes are in session.

Registering to Vote With An On-Campus Address

Attention on-campus students ONLY! The sample form below was provided to us by the Guilford County Board of Elections as a sample registration form. It will show you how to correctly fill out your residential address (room number followed by residence hall name) and your mailing address (jdoe2 at UNCG) on a registration form. Use this format for a paper registration form, which can be found in the Office of Leadership & Civic Engagement in 217 Elliott University Center, or online at the NC State Board of Elections website.  If you have further questions about how a UNCG on-campus student should correctly fill out this form please call the Guilford County Board of Elections directly at 336-641-3836.

UNCG On-Campus Sample Form


How to Vote

  • On election day – You must have registered to vote by the Oct. 9th deadline to vote on election day. Vote at your assigned voting precinct. For NC voters you can search polling location and hours at: https://vt.ncsbe.gov/PPLkup/.
  • Early in-person voting – Early voting is the period before an election where voters can cast a ballot prior to Election day.  Voters can vote at any early voting site in the NC county they are registered in, or live in and would like to register in. However, once the early voting period is passed, eligible voters must vote on election day at their designated polling place. UNCG’s Kaplan Center is an early voting site for Guilford County. See hours here. Voters may change their name or address at an early voting site. Persons who are not yet registered in a county may register to vote, and vote, during early voting. This process is called “same-day registration“. If you do choose to register during early voting you will need to fill out voter registration form and provide a valid form of identification. In some cases, you may need to bring proof of residency. Proof of residency can count as any of the following that shows your current name and current (where you are registering) address:
    • North Carolina driver license (with current address)
    • Other photo identification issued by a government agency. Any government-issued photo ID is acceptable, so long as the card bears the voter’s current name and current address.
    • A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document showing the voter’s name and current address
    • A student residing in a campus housing facility may prove their residency by presenting, in either hardcopy or electronic format, any document originating with the educational institution and containing the student’s name and on-campus housing address or facility name (e.g., “Jones Hall”). Acceptable documents may be issued by either public or private educational institutions and include correspondence, invoice, transcript, or a print-out or screen shot from any official registration or housing portal displaying the student’s name and on-campus housing address.
  • Absentee voting by mail – Any North Carolina voter who is qualified to vote in an election and registered by the Oct. 9th deadline can request and receive a by-mail absentee ballot for any election. No special circumstance or excuse is needed to receive and vote a mail-in absentee ballot. To receive a mail-in absentee ballot for an election, a voter or the voter’s near relative or legal guardian must use the State Absentee Ballot Request form to request the ballot. The ballot must be returned by 5pm on election day by mail or in-person delivery. You can request a NC absentee ballot online. You must do so by the deadline on October 27th at 5pm. If you are a student at UNCG from another state and are registered there, you may request an absentee ballot from your state that will allow you to vote by mail and not in-person. Please be aware of the deadlines to request and return an absentee ballot. If you request and receive a mail-in ballot and later decide to vote in-person, you may do so, just DO NOT mail in the ballot and vote twice. Check the status of your absentee ballot request or submission using BallotTrax.

Researching your Ballot

Be prepared when you go to vote by knowing what is on your ballot. Your ballot will have offices and candidates based on the address you are registered/registering with. Here are a few nonpartisan resources that can help you figure out what will be on your ballot:

  • NC Voter Search – registered voters can look-up their registration, click on their name, and view their sample ballot. This is your official sample ballot and is the most accurate. 
  • Ballot Ready – if you are not registered (say you plan to register and vote during early voting) and will not be able to view your sample ballot online in the NC voter search tool, you can enter your address in this site and see candidates for races that will be on your ballot.
  • Vote 411 – enter the address where you are registered (or plan to register) to see races on your ballot. You can also view basic candidate information by selecting your options.

Request a Voting 101 Workshop

We know the voting process can be confusing. This is why the Office of Leadership & Civic Engagement is inviting faculty and student groups to sign-up for our interactive Voting 101 Workshop. Trained student voter engagement fellows along with OLCE staff will cover the importance of voting, UNCG voting rates, current voter registration requirements, and how and where voting takes place. Participants will have the opportunity to register to vote during this workshop. All content is non-partisan and friendly to all political ideologies. This program can be tailored to fit a 15 or 30-minute time block. To schedule a workshop please contact Kristina Gage at kristina.gage(at)uncg.edu or 336-256-1406, we will do our best to make a team member available.


Frequently Asked Questions

What should I register as?

  • It’s up to you! This is what the NC State Board of Elections says about party affiliation: “There are five recognized political parties in North Carolina: Constitution, Democratic, Green, Libertarian and Republican. Voter registration applicants may choose one of these political parties when completing a voter registration application, or they may choose not to register with a political party affiliation. In this case, the voter’s party affiliation will be designated as Unaffiliated. North Carolina has a semi-closed primary system. In a partisan primary, voters who are affiliated with a political party may only vote the partisan ballot for the party for which they are affiliated; they are closed from voting in another party’s primary. Unaffiliated voters may vote in any one recognized party’s primary. In a General Election, voters may vote for the candidate(s) of their choice, regardless of the candidate(s)’ party affiliation. There is no longer straight-party voting in North Carolina. Voters must make a separate selection for each contest.”

What if I’m registered at home?

  • Students attending college in North Carolina may register at their school address. You must plan to return after temporary absences, like summer break, but do not have to plan to reside at that address permanently.
  • Students may choose to register or remain registered at a permanent address in North Carolina or outside the state. In this case, students may need to vote by absentee ballot or travel there to vote.
  • You may only vote in one location.

Do I need a photo ID?

  • No. You do not need to show your ID for the upcoming primary election. The State Board of Elections has asked universities – including UNCG – whose IDs have been approved as voter IDs to disseminate the following message to students: Voters will not be required to show photo ID for the 2020 primary election. In a December 31 order, a federal district court blocked North Carolina’s voter photo ID requirement from taking effect. The injunction will remain in place until further order of the court. For more information visit the State Board of Elections website: www.ncsbe.gov.
  • Please note that there are some circumstances under which newly registered voters (first time voters in a new county and/or same-day registration during early voting) may need to verify their residence by providing additional documentation.
    • North Carolina driver license
    • Other photo identification issued by a government agency. Any government-issued photo ID is acceptable, so long as the card bears the voter’s current name and current address.
    • A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document showing the voter’s name and address
    • A current college/university photo identification card paired with proof of campus habitation

Will voting in NC affect my federal financial aid?

  • Where you register to vote will not affect federal financial aid such as Pell Grants and Perkins or Stafford loans or your dependency status regarding FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

Will registering to vote in NC affect my scholarship?

  • If you receive scholarship money from a state, county, town, or private entity (i.e., an entity other than the federal government) you should confirm that residency in a particular place is not a requirement of the scholarship and/or that voter registration in NC will not affect your eligibility.

Voting Information & Resources

Upcoming Election Dates

If you are an out of state student planning on voting in your home state – please check your state’s board of elections website for any upcoming 2020 elections. If you are a North Carolina voter, or are planning to register as a North Carolina voter, the following information applies to you.

October 9, 2020: Deadline to register to vote – Voters who miss registering by this deadline can register or update their registration at any early voting site in their county during the early voting period only.

October 15-31: Early voting period: UNCG will be hosting an early voting site at the Kaplan Center where any voter registered (or registering voter) in Guilford County can vote during the early voting period. Hours and other Guilford County early voting locations can be found here. If you didn’t register before the Oct. 9th deadline you can do same-day registration and vote at the same time at an early voting site.

October 27, 5pm: Deadline to request a NC absentee ballot – Voters who were registered by the Oct. 9th deadline can request their ballot here.

November 3rd: Election Day – To vote on election day you must have registered to vote before the Oct. 9th deadline. Election day voters must vote at their assigned polling place


Registering to Vote

Please note that the deadline to register to vote in NC for the November 2020 election has passed. If you missed the voter registration deadline for an election, you may register and vote during the election’s early voting period by completing an application at an early voting site in your county and showing an election official proof of your residential address in the county.

Check if you’re registered: Not sure if you’re registered to vote or want to make sure you’re registered at your current address? The North Carolina State Board of Elections public voter search will provide you with information about when you voted, where you’re registered, what your sample ballot will look like (what you’re voting on), what districts you’re in and much more! This is also a great way to make sure your status is active.

North Carolina: https://vt.ncsbe.gov/RegLkup/ Other states: https://www.nass.org/can-i-vote

Registering in North Carolina? Students attending college in North Carolina may register at their school address. You must plan to return after temporary absences, like summer break, but do not have to plan to reside at that address permanently. Students may also choose to register or remain registered at a permanent address in North Carolina or outside the state. In this case, students may need to vote by absentee ballot or travel there to vote if the election occurs while they are physically attending school elsewhere. In North Carolina there are a few options for registering to vote:

  • Online
    • The North Carolina State Board of Elections and DMV now offer certain online voter registration services for EXISTING DMV customers. If you are a DMV customer with a North Carolina license or DMV issued ID you can register to vote, update your voter registration address, or update your party affiliation online. Visit the DMV website to use these services. 
  • In-Person
    • NC voters can register and vote in-person during early voting. Scroll down to the “Early in-person voting” section under “How to Vote” for more information on what you’ll need to bring with you that counts as proof of residency. 
  • Mail-in a Form
    •  Fill out a Voter Registration Form, print, sign, and mail the form to the proper county board of elections office. UNCG students can also pick up a voter registration form in the Office of Leadership & Civic Engagement (EUC 217) when classes are in session.

Registering to Vote With An On-Campus Address

Attention on-campus students ONLY! The sample form below was provided to us by the Guilford County Board of Elections as a sample registration form. It will show you how to correctly fill out your residential address (room number followed by residence hall name) and your mailing address (jdoe2 at UNCG) on a registration form. Use this format for a paper registration form, which can be found in the Office of Leadership & Civic Engagement in 217 Elliott University Center, or online at the NC State Board of Elections website.  If you have further questions about how a UNCG on-campus student should correctly fill out this form please call the Guilford County Board of Elections directly at 336-641-3836.

UNCG On-Campus Sample Form


How to Vote

  • On election day – You must have registered to vote by the Oct. 9th deadline to vote on election day. Vote at your assigned voting precinct. For NC voters you can search polling location and hours at: https://vt.ncsbe.gov/PPLkup/.
  • Early in-person voting – Early voting is the period before an election where voters can cast a ballot prior to Election day.  Voters can vote at any early voting site in the NC county they are registered in, or live in and would like to register in. However, once the early voting period is passed, eligible voters must vote on election day at their designated polling place. UNCG’s Kaplan Center is an early voting site for Guilford County. See hours here. Voters may change their name or address at an early voting site. Persons who are not yet registered in a county may register to vote, and vote, during early voting. This process is called “same-day registration“. If you do choose to register during early voting you will need to fill out voter registration form and provide a valid form of identification. In some cases, you may need to bring proof of residency. Proof of residency can count as any of the following that shows your current name and current (where you are registering) address:
    • North Carolina driver license (with current address)
    • Other photo identification issued by a government agency. Any government-issued photo ID is acceptable, so long as the card bears the voter’s current name and current address.
    • A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document showing the voter’s name and current address
    • A student residing in a campus housing facility may prove their residency by presenting, in either hardcopy or electronic format, any document originating with the educational institution and containing the student’s name and on-campus housing address or facility name (e.g., “Jones Hall”). Acceptable documents may be issued by either public or private educational institutions and include correspondence, invoice, transcript, or a print-out or screen shot from any official registration or housing portal displaying the student’s name and on-campus housing address.
  • Absentee voting by mail – Any North Carolina voter who is qualified to vote in an election and registered by the Oct. 9th deadline can request and receive a by-mail absentee ballot for any election. No special circumstance or excuse is needed to receive and vote a mail-in absentee ballot. To receive a mail-in absentee ballot for an election, a voter or the voter’s near relative or legal guardian must use the State Absentee Ballot Request form to request the ballot. The ballot must be returned by 5pm on election day by mail or in-person delivery. You can request a NC absentee ballot online. You must do so by the deadline on October 27th at 5pm. If you are a student at UNCG from another state and are registered there, you may request an absentee ballot from your state that will allow you to vote by mail and not in-person. Please be aware of the deadlines to request and return an absentee ballot. If you request and receive a mail-in ballot and later decide to vote in-person, you may do so, just DO NOT mail in the ballot and vote twice. Check the status of your absentee ballot request or submission using BallotTrax.

Researching your Ballot

Be prepared when you go to vote by knowing what is on your ballot. Your ballot will have offices and candidates based on the address you are registered/registering with. Here are a few nonpartisan resources that can help you figure out what will be on your ballot:

  • NC Voter Search – registered voters can look-up their registration, click on their name, and view their sample ballot. This is your official sample ballot and is the most accurate. 
  • Ballot Ready – if you are not registered (say you plan to register and vote during early voting) and will not be able to view your sample ballot online in the NC voter search tool, you can enter your address in this site and see candidates for races that will be on your ballot.
  • Vote 411 – enter the address where you are registered (or plan to register) to see races on your ballot. You can also view basic candidate information by selecting your options.

Request a Voting 101 Workshop

We know the voting process can be confusing. This is why the Office of Leadership & Civic Engagement is inviting faculty and student groups to sign-up for our interactive Voting 101 Workshop. Trained student voter engagement fellows along with OLCE staff will cover the importance of voting, UNCG voting rates, current voter registration requirements, and how and where voting takes place. Participants will have the opportunity to register to vote during this workshop. All content is non-partisan and friendly to all political ideologies. This program can be tailored to fit a 15 or 30-minute time block. To schedule a workshop please contact Kristina Gage at kristina.gage(at)uncg.edu or 336-256-1406, we will do our best to make a team member available.


Frequently Asked Questions

What should I register as?

  • It’s up to you! This is what the NC State Board of Elections says about party affiliation: “There are five recognized political parties in North Carolina: Constitution, Democratic, Green, Libertarian and Republican. Voter registration applicants may choose one of these political parties when completing a voter registration application, or they may choose not to register with a political party affiliation. In this case, the voter’s party affiliation will be designated as Unaffiliated. North Carolina has a semi-closed primary system. In a partisan primary, voters who are affiliated with a political party may only vote the partisan ballot for the party for which they are affiliated; they are closed from voting in another party’s primary. Unaffiliated voters may vote in any one recognized party’s primary. In a General Election, voters may vote for the candidate(s) of their choice, regardless of the candidate(s)’ party affiliation. There is no longer straight-party voting in North Carolina. Voters must make a separate selection for each contest.”

What if I’m registered at home?

  • Students attending college in North Carolina may register at their school address. You must plan to return after temporary absences, like summer break, but do not have to plan to reside at that address permanently.
  • Students may choose to register or remain registered at a permanent address in North Carolina or outside the state. In this case, students may need to vote by absentee ballot or travel there to vote.
  • You may only vote in one location.

Do I need a photo ID?

  • No. You do not need to show your ID for the upcoming primary election. The State Board of Elections has asked universities – including UNCG – whose IDs have been approved as voter IDs to disseminate the following message to students: Voters will not be required to show photo ID for the 2020 primary election. In a December 31 order, a federal district court blocked North Carolina’s voter photo ID requirement from taking effect. The injunction will remain in place until further order of the court. For more information visit the State Board of Elections website: www.ncsbe.gov.
  • Please note that there are some circumstances under which newly registered voters (first time voters in a new county and/or same-day registration during early voting) may need to verify their residence by providing additional documentation.
    • North Carolina driver license
    • Other photo identification issued by a government agency. Any government-issued photo ID is acceptable, so long as the card bears the voter’s current name and current address.
    • A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document showing the voter’s name and address
    • A current college/university photo identification card paired with proof of campus habitation

Will voting in NC affect my federal financial aid?

  • Where you register to vote will not affect federal financial aid such as Pell Grants and Perkins or Stafford loans or your dependency status regarding FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

Will registering to vote in NC affect my scholarship?

  • If you receive scholarship money from a state, county, town, or private entity (i.e., an entity other than the federal government) you should confirm that residency in a particular place is not a requirement of the scholarship and/or that voter registration in NC will not affect your eligibility.

Voting Information & Resources

Get Involved in Elections

Check out these events and opportunities to get more involved and informed this election season!

Apply to be a UNCG Votes Ambassador

Interested in becoming more involved when it comes to the upcoming election? Our Democracy Fellows are currently recruiting teams of students to assist in voter engagement initiatives including registration and education. All ambassadors will be given a UNCG Votes swag bag and be placed on an ambassador team to work with as we get our campus ready for November 3rd! Sign up here and we’ll reach out with more information when you’ve been placed on a team.

On-Campus Voter Registration Drives

Need to register to vote and don’t want to use uncg.turbovote.org? OLCE student Democracy Fellows can register you in-person at the following times and locations. Please wear a mask if you plan to come! Email lead@uncg.edu with questions.

Wednesday, September 30th 11am-2pm on College Ave and Moran Commons (in front of the Caf)

Thursday, October 8th 11am-2pm on College Ave and Moran Commons (in front of the Caf)

Be a Democracy Hero

North Carolina county boards of elections are searching for democracy heroes to work at polling places and voting sites for the November 2020 general election. Visit this site to learn more about becoming a poll worker. We recommend you contact your county’s board of elections office directly. You can search for their contact information here.

Defending Your Right to Vote

September 24, 5-6:30pm, Register here

OLCE is co-sponsoring a virtual faculty and student teach-in about the logistics of voting in 2020 and how to exercise your right to vote. Techniques of voter suppression will be discussed and placed within a larger historical context. Students are encouraged to bring their questions and concerns and to actively participate in this informative discussion. This event is organized and co-sponsored by the History Department, the Human Rights Research Network, the Humanities Network and Consortium, the Political Science Department, and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department.

Virtual Debate Watch Parties

Join OLCE for the first Presidential Debate on September 29th. Check back soon for details on our virtual debate watch party. It’s more fun with us! Participants will engage in election trivia, discussion, and opportunities to win prizes.