Important Election Reminders

October 30, 2020

Dear UC Berkeley Community:

As we enter the final days of this extraordinary election season, we want to encourage all of the members of our campus community who are eligible, to participate in the democratic process and vote. This election has elicited strong opinions throughout our country, and many in our community, across the political spectrum, are concerned about the outcome and its implications for our society and the world.

Due to the pandemic, there have been some changes to the process this year, and a limited number of in-person voting locations will be open.

Please consider the following important steps and review the resources below:

1.  Make a plan to vote. Find a ballot drop off location, drop your ballot in the mail, or find a polling location if you want to vote in person.

2.  If you vote by mail, ballots postmarked by November 3 and received by November 20 will be counted in California (the policies vary by state). California voters can track your ballot there.

3.  For those who are registered to vote in Alameda county, campus accessible voting locations are for early voting and election day voting:

  • MLK Jr. Building at the Student Union, 2495 Bancroft Ave., Berkeley
  • Lawrence Hall of Science, 1 Centennial Dr., Berkeley
  • University Village, 1053 Monroe Street, Albany
  • Hours of Operation: Saturday, Sunday, Monday, October 31-November 2; 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Tuesday, November 3 (Election Day), 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Anyone registered to vote in Alameda County may vote in person or drop off their ballot at those locations or any of these locations: between October 31st and Election Day. All campus public health measures will be in effect to help ensure a safe voting space so remember to bring your face covering.

4. Voting information for faculty, staff, students, and postdocs who live in other Bay Area counties or throughout California can be found at the California Secretary of State website.

5. Be prepared for long lines if you vote in person. Be patient. Your vote is worth the wait. If you are in line when the polls close, stay in line. If someone tells you differently, don’t leave. Call this number 1-866-OUR-VOTE.

6. Expect that we may not know final election results on election night and that vote tallies will change in the days and weeks following the election. This will likely be a high-turnout election with more ballots to count than usual. Getting a final accurate count will take time.

7. What if I haven’t registered or changed my address and I still want to vote? In California, it’s not too late. A law was passed recently to allow for same day registration. You can go to any county voting location where you currently live and register to vote and cast your conditional ballot at the same time. Your ballot will be held until your voter registration has been accepted. Learn more here.

8. Managers and supervisors are reminded that employees who do not have sufficient time to vote outside of working hours are allowed up to two hours at the beginning or end of their work day for voting. Faculty members and others with teaching responsibilities are asked to be flexible with students who need to take time away from their studies to vote. Keep in mind that many students are living outside of California and may be required to vote in person on election day and could encounter long waits.

Finally, as an educational community we value academic freedom and a diversity of ideas, even on the most contentious topics. Debating issues with respect for others helps all of us develop our views and how we communicate them, and gives us a stronger understanding of other points of view.

As the campus and our nation continue to grapple with the dramatic effects of the pandemic, racial inequality and the economic crisis, we must remember to extend compassion, respect and support for one another.

Carol Christ
A. Paul Alivisatos
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

This message has been sent to all UC Berkeley faculty, staff and students.