Understanding U.S. Elections

With the U.S. presidential election happening in two weeks, we wanted to provide students with information and resources about the upcoming election. Even though F and J category students are not eligible to vote, there are other ways students can get involved.

Attending school in the U.S. during a U.S. election can be an exciting and challenging time. Regardless of the outcome, we at ISSO and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will continue to fully support our international students and advocate for our international students, scholars, and faculty.

Important Things to Know:

  • Our office stays up to date on the current immigration policy, so we can best serve you. You can always find any immigration updates on our website.
  • Regardless of any election outcome, legislative policy changes to anything, including immigration, do not happen overnight. There is a process that Congress must follow in order to enact these changes and there is time for policies to be changed or reversed.
  • You are welcome here. UNL values your unique perspective and experiences. We will continue to support our international Huskers.


Ways to Get Involved In U.S. Elections:

  1. Educate Yourself: Learn about the U.S. election systems and why voting is a fundamental part of the U.S. democracy. In a presidential election year, understand the difference between the primaries, in which the major political parties select their candidates, and the general election, which happens every four years on the first Tuesday in November, this year that is Tuesday November 3, 2020.
  2. Consider Your Sources: Seek legitimate, non-partisan news sources. Be sure that you are looking at the factual news- not just opinions or social media posts.
  3. Attend an Event: Check out the UNL Events Calendar and Student Involvement Events Calendar for events related to current issues and the elections.
  4. Think Local: Get to know the candidates in Nebraska and the ballot issues at the candidate websites and general sites. Some non-partisan sites are:
  5. Be Curious: Ask your American classmates and friends about their views on the candidates, who they find most appealing, and the issues that they find most important.
  6. Keep Things in Perspective: If you don’t understand something, that’s OK. It takes time to fully understand the history, current events, and politics of another country. What’s important is deepening your understanding of life in the U.S. and connecting with other students, faculty, and staff around issues that are important to them — and to you!

Get Involved with On Campus!

  1. Run for Campus Office: There are plenty of elected positions within student organizations, including the Association of Students at the University of Nebraska (ASUN) student government where you can influence the activities, policies, and climate at the University. Run for office – and vote in student elections!
  2. Familiarize Yourself with Campus-based Initiatives: Check out Center for Civic Engagement for more information on campus-based voting efforts including the Big Ten Voting Challenge.