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Civic Engagement

Civic Engagement at USC Upstate supports and extends the efforts of the Office of Service Learning and Community Engagement by promoting non-partisan awareness of, and involvement in, multiple aspects of the electoral process, primarily for students, but tangentially including faculty, staff, and the greater community.

Three primary goals for Civic Engagement are:

  • Raising awareness of the importance of our democratic process
  • Assisting with voter registration and motivation to be involved in elections
  • Educating our community concerning issues and candidates at both local and national levels

For questions, comments, or more information, please email

  • Amid all the chaos of 2020, our nation has been responding the census. As of this writing, South Carolina ranks 42nd in states' self-reporting with less than 60% of households reporting. It is NOT TOO LATE for you & your family to respond.

    Census data is used to determine our representation in congress and to guide funding choices for $1.5 trillion (that's $1,500,000,000,000) every year. Types of funding include Pell grants, federal student loans, educational support, school lunches, SNAP & WIC programs, support for hospitals, firefighters, workforce development, highway construction, and other community-building efforts. 

    The official and extended deadlines have both passed, but it is still not too late to respond. Go to or complete the questionnaire by phone in English by calling 844.330-2020. Numbers for languages other than English are available at

    Each household should only respond once, so if someone has already responded for your family, please don't do it again. If you report for your household now, please report the information valid on April 1, 2020.

    • September 17th – Constitution Day
    • September 22nd – National Register to Vote Day
    • October 5th- 9th – National Voter Education Week
    • October 24th – National Early Vote Day
    • November 3rd – Election Day
  • This is your one-stop shop for election related action. 

    Pledge to vote, find out how to vote, find out what's on the ballot, explore the issues, and more at My.VoteEverywhere at University of South Carolina Upstate

  • Interested in getting involved in Civic Engagement?  Here are several ways you can get involved today:

    • Become a poll worker.  Fill out this Google form by the end of September to join other Upstate students as poll workers in November 2020.
    • Join the student organization Engage Upstate to help promote civic engagement on campus
    • Have your student organization hold a voter registration drive 
  • USC Upstate is one of about 1,000 colleges and universities that participate in the National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement (NSLVE). The study is conducted by the Institute for Democracy and Higher Education at the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University.

    As can be seen by examining the reports, Upstate has a large number of students registered to vote and participating in elections. Civic Engagement seeks to improve these numbers even more by continuing to encourage student involvement.

    Download the 2018 report Download PDF

    Download the 2016 report Download PDF

    Download the 2012/2014 report Download PDF 

Voting FAQ

I need to register for the first time. Where do I go?

For South Carolina residents: visit, select voters and register to vote. Follow the instructions on the website to complete your voter registration.

For out-of-state residents: visit for more information on how to register to vote in your state.

I live on campus and am not from Spartanburg, can I register to vote using my on-campus address?

Yes! When filling out the voter registration application, use the following address: 470 Hodge Drive, PMB # (enter actual number) Spartanburg, SC 29303.

I have moved since the last time I registered. How do I change my registration?

For South Carolina residents: visit, select voters and register to vote. Follow the instructions on the website to complete your voter registration.

Make sure you have updated your information with the SC DMV prior to updating your voter registration information.

For out-of-state residents: visit for more information on how to register to vote in your state.

How do I check my voter registration status and find my polling location?

For South Carolina Residents: visit, select voter and check your voter registration.

For out-of-state residents, visit to find a list of state or local elections offices to verify your registration status.

Who is eligible to vote by absentee ballot?

For South Carolina Residents: visit, select voters and absentee voting for a list of who is eligible and instructions for requesting and submitting absentee ballots.

For Out-of-State Residents, visit for information regarding absentee voting in your state.

How do I request an absentee ballot?

For voters registered in South Carolina:
In person (deadline: November 7, 2016 at 5 p.m.)
Visit the county voter registration office in your county of residence, complete an application, and cast your ballot.

By mail (deadline: November 4, 2016)
Visit, select voters and absentee voting. Click on the “Get the application online” link.

For individuals registered in a state other than South Carolina:
Visit for more information about requesting absentee ballots for your state.