Faculty and Staff Resources
Welcome to the BGSU Faculty and Staff BGSU Votes resource page. We have compiled this page to provide you with helpful tools and information to use to integrate voter education and election information into your course or program.
Incorporating Election Engagement Into Your Courses
The Campus Election Engagement Project has pulled together a thorough resource of tips and ideas for incorporating elections into your course or program content.
Democratic Engagement LibGuide
BGSU Librarians Maureen Barry and Vera Lux have compiled useful LibGuide which features information about the basics of voting, the 2020 Election in Context with data and classroom resources. If you have additional resources that would be helpful to add please contact Maureen Barry or Vera Lux
- "The leaders we elect make decisions that affect our daily lives. Elections are our chance to stand up for what matters most to us and to have an impact on the issues that affect us, our communities, our families and our future" (League of Women Voters, n.d.).
- "Your vote may not directly elect the president, but if your vote joins enough others in your voting district or county, your vote undoubtedly matters when it comes to electoral results. Most states have a 'winner take all' system where the popular vote winner gets the state’s electoral votes. There are also local and state elections to consider. While presidential or other national elections usually get a significant voter turnout, local elections are typically decided by a much smaller group of voters.
A Portland State University study found that fewer than 15 percent of eligible voters were turning out to vote for mayors, council members, and other local offices. Low turnout means that important local issues are determined by a limited group of voters, making a single vote even more statistically meaningful" (National Geographic, 2020)
For additional resources about why voting is important for college students visit:
- Make sure that your statements about voting and civic engagement are nonpartisan.
- Link civic engagement your to BGSU’S mission statement and/or Carnegie Classification.
- Align learning objectives with civic engagement. A great resource is this handout from Tufts University about Civic Learning Outcomes.
- Share BGSU's voting rates via the National Study of Voting, Learning, and Engagement (NSLVE).
- Share other non-voting related democratic opportunities that you would like to promote. Example statement: "Yes, voting is an important part of democratic engagement, but I also invite you to take part in other ways. Some opportunities we have right now are..." Share three options for students to plug into. This can include promoting the next virtual town hall in the town or city where our campus is located, ways to get involved with different student organizations, or sharing contact information for local elected officials. (adapted from Ask Every Student Toolkit). You may also consider sharing the Social Change Wheel from Iowa/Minnesota Campus Compact which highlights the various strategies for creating social change.
- Consider including key election dates and requirements on your course schedule (e.g. registration deadline, Election Day)
- Consider the timing of due dates and exams on Election Days.
- Voter Registration Deadline: October 5, 2020
- Early Voting: October 6 – November 2, 2020
- Absentee Ballot Request Deadline: October 31, 2020
- Election Day: November 3, 2020
- Options for choosing where to register: "Students have the option to vote at their home address or school address. Many factors go into deciding which location to register and exercise your vote such as where you plan to be on election day, if you prefer to vote early, vote by mail, or vote on Election Day, and which community issues and candidates you wish to support . This year student voters will also need to take into consideration the best place to register that will be most flexible for them should a pandemic disruption or displacement occur. Visit the BGSU Votes website for details about how to register"
- Voting Registration Deadline: "The deadline to register to vote in Ohio is Monday, October 5. You can register to vote in Ohio by submitting a paper form or online. Other states have different registration requirements and deadlines. Visit the BGSU Votes website for details about how to register.
- Options for Voting: "In many states, including Ohio, there are multiple methods you can utilize to vote. You can
- vote early in person,
- vote early by absentee ballot, or
- vote on Election Day.
Each has a process that requires some planning on your part. BGSU Votes has curated some helpful tools to make your voting experience great. To learn more, visit BGSU Votes or call 419-372-9865"
- Getting informed: "There are many resources that provide information about the process of voting and how to vote. These include BGSU Votes, League of Women Voters Vote411, BallotReady, Ballotpedia, You can also engage in activities to become more civically engaged such as attending a candidate forum, watching debates, visiting candidates' websites, and talking to friends and family about democracy, politics, policymaking, and social action.
Reminders about Political Activity
University employees shall not do any of the following:
- Use University assets and resources for political activities. This prohibition includes but is not limited to use of the University name, seal, addresses, phone numbers or any other University resource to endorse, promote or oppose a candidate or issue. This prohibition includes the use of such University resources as University funds, email system, phones, computers, copying machines, postage, personnel, services or like resources. The use of such assets must be confined to University business in accord with University Policies.
- Make any statement or take any action that suggests the University is endorsing or opposing any candidate for public office or particular viewpoint;
- Use one’s official University title to endorse, promote or oppose a candidate or to allow one’s official University title to be used in such a way;
- Use University spaces or property in connection with candidate campaign events except as provided by University Policy, or allow the use of such spaces or property in such a way;
- Engage in lobbying activity on behalf of the University unless such activity is part of the employee’s formal job description or assignment;
- Give or receive anything of substantial value to any public official or public employee if doing so would violate state or University ethics rules.
Members of the University community should consult the following University Policies governing these matters:
Use of Information Technology resources – University Policy 3341-6-7 and related Student and Human Resources Policies
Political Campaigning on Campus University Policy 3341-2-27
Guest Speakers – University Policy 3341-2-16
Code of Ethics – University Policy 3341-1-2
Members of the University community may participate in partisan political activities outside of their official University duties and work hours so long as University resources are not used. (Classified Staff are subject to additional limitations on political activity as set forth in more detail below.) Members of the University community may express themselves on political matters as individuals. However, members of the University community speaking or writing in their individual capacity should clearly indicate that their comments are not being made in any official University capacity and do not represent an official position of the University. Remarks of a partisan political nature should not be made in official University publications or at official University functions.
The University is committed to encouraging free expression. Political activities that do not use University resources or imply University involvement, endorsement of, or opposition to candidates are permissible so long as they are done in accordance with generally applicable University rules and regulations.
University facilities can be reserved and used for partisan political events subject to the following general rules:
- The use must not disrupt other University activities.
- The use must be permitted on an impartial basis and shall not favor or disfavor any candidate or political party.
- All usually applicable University rules relating to use of University facilities shall apply.
- Charges for the use of the facility, equipment, security, police overtime, other overtime, and other University related costs must be paid in advance, in full and pursuant to a written agreement reviewed and approved by the Office of General Counsel; and
- No political fundraising or fundraising solicitations shall be permitted at the event.
Candidates and candidate representatives may speak at the University.
The usually applicable rules governing campus activities and the use of University facilities shall apply to candidates and current officeholders and their representatives who want to engage in political campaign activities on the campuses and in University facilities.
Course appropriate curricular activities educating students about the political process are permissible so long as they are conducted impartially.
State laws and regulations subject Classified Staff employees to limitations on their political activities. These limitations are set forth in the Ohio Administrative Code Ann. §123:1-46-02, and prohibit Classified Staff employees from the following political activities:
- Candidacy for public office in a partisan election;
- Candidacy for public office in a nonpartisan general election if the nomination to candidacy was obtained in a partisan primary or through the circulation of nominating petitions identified with a political party;
- Filing of petitions meeting statutory requirements for partisan candidacy to elective office;
- Circulation of official nominating petitions for any candidate participating in a partisan election;
- Service in an elected or appointed office in any partisan political organization;
- Acceptance of a party-sponsored appointment to any office normally filled by partisan elections;
- Campaigning by writing for publications, by distributing political material, or by writing or making speeches on behalf of a candidate for partisan elective office, when such activities are directed toward party success;
- Solicitation, either directly or indirectly, of any assessment, contribution or subscription, either monetary or in-kind, for any political party or political candidate;
- Solicitation of the sale, or actual sale, of political party tickets;
- Partisan activities at the election polls, such as solicitation of votes for other than nonpartisan candidates and nonpartisan issues;
- Service as witness or challenger for any party or partisan committee;
- Participation in political caucuses of a partisan nature; and
- Participation in a political action committee which supports partisan activity.
Any questions concerning this should be directed as follows:
University students – Vice President for Student Affairs
University faculty – Vice President, Faculty Affairs and Strategic Initiatives
University staff – Human Resources
Current dates reflect the Ohio 2021 Primary/Special Election Dates
Voting Rights History
The fight for the right to vote in the United States - Nicki Beaman Griffin
This TED Ed video summarizes the long history of voting rights in the United States.
In this voting guide, BGSU Votes student leader, Alyssa Tomins covers the basics of registering to vote, voter eligibility, options for voting, and other commonly asked questions. This is a great overview of the voting process and a great tool for student voters.
Voter Registration in Ohio
In this video BGSU Votes and the Wood County Board of Elections review the voter registration process in Ohio. Topics cover include who is eligible to vote, choosing where to register to vote, completing the voter registration form and common mistakes, and other policies related to voter registration. This is a great video to watch if you wish to help others register to vote.
How Do I Vote By Mail?
Short video from the Campus Election Engagement Project outlining the process for voting by mail.
Voting by Mail: Myth vs. Facts
Do you have concerns voting by mail this fall? Check out this Campus Election Engagement Project video debunking common myths surrounding the process.
BGSU has been part of a national study since 2012 to learn more about student registration and voting rates. This study is coordinated by the Institute for Democracy and Higher Education at Tuft's University's Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life.