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Civic and Community Engagement

"Civic engagement means working to make a difference in the civic life of our communities and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values and motivation to make that difference. It means promoting the quality of life in a community, through both political and non-political processes."

 
- "Civic Responsibility and Higher Education," edited by Thomas Ehrlich, Oryx Press, 2000

With upcoming elections and the 2020 Census, there’s no better time to make yourself heard and make a difference in your community. Below you’ll find important dates and information for this year’s elections and the census.


Students register to vote at an event

Voting in 2020

Get Registered – Get Involved

Register to Vote Online
Check if You're Registered
Decisions are made by those who show up. 2020 is a momentous year for our country and our community… and a perfect opportunity to make your voice heard at every level of government! CSM is committed to defending and promoting one of the most essential rights afforded to Americans, the right to vote. View a message from Governor Hogan here.

Important Dates

April 7Last day to register to vote in the Primary Election; Last day to switch parties before the Primary Election.
April 19-23Early Voting for the Primary Election
April 28
Postponed until June 2

Primary Election by mail
October 13Last day to register to vote in the General Election
October 23-29Early Voting for the General Election
November 3General Election

Resources

Did you encounter problems at the polls or have more questions?

The ACLU of Maryland’s Election Protection Hotline (443-399-3229) for Maryland voters is open now through when polls close on Election Day, which is November 3, 2020 at 8 p.m.  Maryland Voters who encounter problems at the polls in the 2020 General Election or who have questions about how to cast a ballot may call the hotline. 


2020 Census Maryland2020 Census

Stand Up and Be Counted

April 1, 2020 is Census Day!

The decennial census is a simple concept, with tremendous importance: Once every ten years, the government counts all the people who live here. Using the responses from every American household, the US Census Bureau produces statistics that paint a vivid picture of the country and its people: who they are, where they are, and how they live. In return, census results impact:

  • Federal student loans
  • Federal research grants
  • Campus funding and improvements (labs, buildings, classrooms)
  • Health and social services
  • Federal legislation
  • And many other areas 

Your participation is vital! And it’s easier than ever to respond to the Census. You can respond online, over the phone, or in person. Visit www.2020census.gov to find out more.

Important Dates

In mid-March, every household in the country will receive an invitation to participate in the Census and instructions on how to respond.

April 1 is Census Day! Respond to the 2020 Census about the makeup of your household and the people living there as of April 1, 2020.


FAQs

Does my vote really matter?

YES! Your vote absolutely matters—and probably more than you think. In 2016, less than two-thirds of voting-age Americans voted. Decisions get made by those who show up, decisions that will affect your life and countless others, around the globe and right here at home. If you want to be heard, you have to raise your voice.

Who’s eligible to vote?

You must be a US Citizen and must be at least 18 years old. In Maryland, you can register to vote as young as 16, but you can’t cast your vote unless you are or will be 18 by November 3.

Can I register to vote on campus?

Yes! Student Life will be holding voter registration drives to get students signed up. Visit www.csmd.edu/studentlife for more information.

What’s being voted on this year?

2020 is about more than the White House. This year voters will vote on issues and offices at every level of government. Great resources are available to help you make informed decisions, like the League of Women Voters non-partisan guides to who and what’s on the ballot (www.lwv.org).

Can I vote at any polling location?

During Maryland’s Early Voting period, you can vote at any polling place in your county. If you go to vote on election day, you must vote at your assigned polling location, or you can vote by absentee ballot.

Do I have to have ID with me to vote?

Maryland law doesn’t require every voter to bring identification, but in certain extraordinary circumstances, voters may need to prove they’re who they say they are. Visit the Maryland State Board of Election for a list of acceptable forms of identification; your CSM student ID will work!

I know somebody who is probably going to need help casting their ballot. Can I go with them and help?

People who need help voting—due to language barrier, disability, or any other reason—can have someone of their choice help them cast their vote. Visit https://www.elections.maryland.gov/  for more information.

Is the Census really that important?

The Census is more than just a headcount. The responses to the Census affect nearly every aspect of federal spending. What issues are important to you? Education, employment, the environment, housing, emergency services—the 2020 Census will affect the next ten years of federal funding for these and so much more. 

What questions do they ask in the Census?

The US Census Bureau’s website for this year’s Census gives some sample questions. The Census Bureau will NEVER ask for your Social Security Number, bank account or credit card numbers, or money. 

What does the government do with my Census answers?

The information you give the Census Bureau is used solely to compile statistics. Also, your responses to the Census are kept completely confidential. Title 13 of the US Code prohibits the Census Bureau from releasing any identifiable information about you, your home, or your business, even to law enforcement agencies, and your responses can’t be used against you by any government agency or court.