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This is part one in a series of three blog posts for IU School of Medicine students to learn about how voting is key to a healthy community.

Voter Education 411 for IU School of Medicine Learners

Two feet forming V with chalk of word VOTE

Democracy is integral to a healthy community and country. Indiana University School of Medicine encourages all students, faculty and staff to vote if they are eligible. Through a series of blog posts, IU School of Medicine will provide nonpartisan educational information on all things to prepare you for the 2020 general election!

We even have an IU School of Medicine Voter Guide that answers to all the elections questions you may have. Look updates to this blog series to walk you through the steps of the electoral process.

Where should I Register to Vote?

College students are legally allowed two options including registering at your permanent address (this may be a parent or guardian’s address where you live when you are not in school) or registering at your current residence while you are attending school (note: for some students, their current address is their permanent address). The option is up to you!

Some students prefer to vote in their hometown because they may have a stronger understanding and attachment to local politics. Other students may prefer to vote at their current residence because they care about the political landscape there. If you opt to vote at your permanent residence and it is in a different Indiana county or even out-of-state, you should plan to request an absentee ballot as soon as possible.

Just remember: You must have lived in the precinct where you vote for at least 30 days prior to the election. Thus, if you are living somewhere temporarily, like a clinical rotation on a different campus, during the election, you will want to register at your home address and do an absentee ballot application.

Voter Registration Deadline

Indiana Deadline: October 5, 2020

From a different state? Visit the U.S. Vote Foundation’s website to query your state’s deadline.

How to Register to Vote

If you have an Indiana State ID or Driver’s License, you can register to vote using your state ID number online at

If you want to vote in Indiana but your license is from a different state (and thus you don’t have an Indiana ID number to register online), then you will have to register to vote using this Voter Registration Form.

This should be mailed or dropped off at your county election board by the end of the business day (usually 4pm) on October 5. Locations for each county are on page 2 of the voter registration form.

What if I Might Already Be Registered?

The state’s website is your one-stop shop! Click the “Check Voting Status” and type in your first and last name, birthdate, and county you may have registered in. If you are registered, your profile will come up. This is also a good method to help family and friends to check their voter status as well!

How to Change Voter Address

Visit the state’s website and click the “Check Voting Status”. Type in your first and last name, birthdate, and county you registered in. It will open up your profile. On the right-hand side it will say “Have you moved or changed your name? Update your registration below” and have a button to click “Update Voter Info”.


The IU School of Medicine Voter Guide has answers to all the elections questions you may have. Want to ask someone directly? IUPUI has an Instagram ‘voter hotline’ that any IU School of Medicine learner can use. Visit them at @iupuijagsvote. You can also call your county election board.

The views expressed in this content represent the perspective and opinions of the author and may or may not represent the position of Indiana University School of Medicine.
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Niki Messmore

Niki Messmore, M.S.Ed, is the Director of Medical Service Learning with over 16 years of professional experience in nonprofits and higher education. Her work is centered around connecting medical students to each other and to their communities. She has oversight of service learning programs, directs the IUSM AmeriCorps program, supports student activities, manages the Common Read Experience, and much more. Niki has been recognized at a national and local level for her work in student affairs, awarded over $600,000 in grant funding during her IU tenure, and has extensively presented her work through conferences and publications.