UC empowers youth vote with civic engagement campaign and access to polls systemwide

College-aged voters are poised to be a major force in America’s 2020 elections — if they show up. This election season, the University of California is engaging this powerful voting bloc and making it easier for them to vote. UC has been helping students register to vote, educating them on their first electoral experience and ensuring they can find their campus polling sites.

Carrie Byington
A young student at UC Riverside with Luna the “vote goat.”
Credit: CALPIRG Students

These efforts are part of the University’s comprehensive nonpartisan voter registration and civic engagement campaign. Through social media, educational content and a customized voter registration tool (created in partnership with Rock the Vote), UC is encouraging and empowering its students, faculty, staff, alumni and retirees across the system to register to vote and cast ballots on Election Day. The University’s more than 280,000 students will have access to over 30 on-campus polling locations during the March 3 primary.

“Civic engagement is a core value at the University of California, and we are committed to supporting our campus communities as they flex their political muscles and head to the polls, many for the first time,” said UC President Janet Napolitano. “We are removing as many barriers as possible so young people can exercise their right to vote and to be heard. It’s paramount we listen because they are the future of this country.”

The University is also collaborating with the UC Student Association, the UC Graduate and Professional Council, the California State University system and the California Community Colleges system to ensure young voters have the information they need to fully participate in the democratic process. According to researchers, many young people do not fully understand the electoral process and think their vote does not make a difference; this is why UC and its partners are campaigning for youth to vote. The University is helping students understand when and where to register and vote, how to submit an absentee ballot and how to find additional information about ballot measures that their votes will impact.

UC will have polling sites available on every campus on March 3. For select campuses, vote centers will be open several days before the primary, making their polling options even more accessible. Students can also drop off mail-in ballots at any polling site or in one of the many vote-by-mail ballot drop boxes across UC campuses.

Below is a list of voting locations and related information across UC:

UC Berkeley

  • Polling location open March 3 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
    • Unit 1: 2650 Durant Ave.
    • Unit 3: 2400 Durant Ave.
  • Drop-off locations for vote-by-mail ballots
    • Dormitory mailrooms: Unit 1, Unit 2, Unit 3, Clark-Kerr, Foothill
      • On-campus ballot drop box near Sather Gate
      • On-campus ballot drop box in Sproul Plaza just north of Sproul Hall
  • More details: https://asuc.org/vote/

UC Davis

UC Irvine

  • Two four-day vote centers, open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Feb. 29 to March 2 and on March 3 open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
    • Mesa Court Housing Multi Purpose Room (4053 Mesa Rd., Irvine, CA)
    • University Hills Community Center (1083 California Ave., Irvine, CA)


UC Merced

  • Four-day vote center, open Feb. 29 to March 2 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on March 3 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

    • The Summits complex, Crescent Arch Room

  • Polling location open on March 3 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

    • The Summits complex, Alpine Room

UC Riverside

  • Polling location open March 3 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

    • Glen Mor, Meeting Room K106/K108

  • Mail-in ballot drop box at Student Life in HUB 229

UC Santa Cruz

  • Polling locations open March 3 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

    • College Ten Namaste Lounge

    • Crown / Merrill Cultural Center

    • Oakes Learning Center

    • Porter Apartment "I" Lounge

    • Stevenson Silverman Conference Room

    • 2300 Delaware Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 (Located near Natural Bridges Park)

  • More details: https://urelations.ucsc.edu/about/units/government/vote/index.html

UC San Diego

  • Polling locations open March 3 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

    • Marshall: Angela's Place

    • Muir: Mariposa Room

    • Revelle: Conference Room C

    • Roosevelt & I-House: Middle Earth Lounge

    • Sixth & Rita Atkinson: Sixth College Dogg House

    • Warren: The Courtroom

    • Mesa Nueva graduate housing: 1 Miramar Street Lounge

    • The Village: Building 2 Conference Room

    • Provisional & absentee voting: Price Center East Ballroom

  • Mail ballot drop-off location on Feb. 24 to 28 and March 2, 2020, at Price Center Study Room 5, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

  • More details: https://students.ucsd.edu/student-life/involvement/voter.html


  • Polling locations open March 3 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

    • UCSF Lobby
    • UCSF Housing – Community Room
    • Lobby – UCSF Parking Garage
    • UCSF Mission Center – Conference Room #126
  • Mail-in ballot drop box UCSF Housing – Community Room

UC Santa Barbara

  • Polling locations open March 3 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
    • Manzanita Village, Loma Pelona
    • Santa Cruz Hall, Main Lounge
    • San Nicolas Hall, Recreation Room