Skip to Main Content

Cast Your Whole Vote

Quick Links


“Casting your whole vote” means committing fully to building strong, inclusive, just communities in which everyone can thrive. The idea comes from Henry David Thoreau’s essay on Civil Disobedience. Thoreau observed that in the 19th century there were a lot of people who complained about what the government did or did not do, but took no real responsibility. They might vote in elections, but they did not learn about the issues, engage in conversations with members of their community, and contribute their time and talent to building a better world. Thoreau urged them to “cast your whole vote, not a [ballot] merely, but your whole influence.”

Earlier this year, President Hrabowski signed the Higher Education Presidents’ Commitment to Full Student Voter Participation, committing to a goal of full participation in Election 2020 by members of the UMBC community. The Center for Democracy and Civic Life has created a Cast Your Whole Vote Toolkit designed to share important messages with the campus community to help us reach that goal and ensure that our voices contribute to the political process. These messages complement campus programs that bring members of the UMBC community together for conversations about the issues that affect us.


A black check mark in a gold box surrounded by gold arrows.

Voting Starts Now.

Because of changes to the election due to COVID-19, you may need more time to complete the voting process. If you want to vote by mail, you will need to allow time for the Board of Elections to send your ballot and return it by Election Day. Start the process now using ALL IN to Vote’s tools here.

UMBC is competing with schools across the U.S. to have the most members of the campus community take the ALL IN pledge to vote. Here is a link directly to the pledge form.

A black check mark in a gold box inside of two larger gold boxes.

Voting Matters.

The impact of elections on the quality of our lives, and our prospects for the future, is enormous. Even though your one vote may not decide the election, it can influence elected officials’ priorities, actions, and decisions, because your choice to vote or not vote will be a matter of public record. When you participate, you declare that you and people in your age group and connected to UMBC matter. Read more about why your vote matters here.

A black check mark in a gold box, which is in the center of a gold outline of UMBC's Official Paw Print logo.

UMBC Students Vote.

UMBC won a Gold Award from the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge for its 113% increase in student voter turnout in the 2018 election (relative to 2014). 85% of UMBC students were registered to vote in the 2016 national election, and 75% of those actually voted. UMBC’s overall turnout rate in 2016 was 125% of the national average for colleges and universities (source: National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE)).

A grid of gold squares, each containing a black abstract illustration: three people sitting at a table; a house and a skyscraper; a speech bubble containing an ellipsis; a globe; a star; seven people sitting in a circle beneath the Forum sculpture outside of UMBC's Performing Arts and Humanities Building; two people with a lightbulb above their heads; a sprout and a shovel; and a check mark.

Cast Your Whole Vote.

Voting is crucial and there are many other important ways to take responsibility for the future of our communities and make them thrive. Social change can happen in neighborhoods, workplaces, and everyday settings. You can work with the people around you to address issues in your own communities. Connecting and sharing stories helps people move beyond stereotypes and recognize each other’s humanity. Here are some opportunities to get started.