“Extra Credit” for Student Voting is not Legal

Dear Faculty Colleagues,

Many of you, with the best of intentions, have offered some form of extra credit to students who can demonstrate they voted in this current election.  Unfortunately, this practice is illegal.

In elections in which federal candidates are on the ballot, such as the current general election, no one can offer any kind of benefit or reward for voting.  It is against federal law to do so.

In contrast, in special or local elections where there are no federal candidates on the ballot (like last spring’s SD mayoral special election), you can offer any type of incentive you want, including a cash payment for voting.

Bottom line, for the current November 4th elections, please do not offer any type of incentive to your students to reward them for voting.  Moral suasion is always acceptable however.  🙂

Please let me know if you have any questions regarding the foregoing.

In Unity,