Let’s get real for a minute, or at least I will. I am smart, educated, and the voting process still confuses me to no end. I know if I’m having that experience, others are too. So it’s time to break it down and get honest about what we don’t know with no shame.
If you don’t want to be in the dark anymore or maybe this is your first encounter with voting, going through this step-by-step process will give you more clarity about what to do, how to do it and where to get the information you need.
How to register to vote
Find your state deadline here.
Are you eligible? You must say yes to all of these:
- Are you a U.S. citizen? (You can’t vote if you’re a permanent resident i.e. green card holder.)
- Will you be 18 years old by the election date? Age requirements by state & exceptions
- Have you lived in your state for 30 days (depending on state)? Find registry requirements here.
- Do you meet the criminal record requirements? (You have more rights than you think even if you’re a convicted felon. Only in Florida, Kentucky and Iowa are convicted felons never allowed to vote.) Find requirements here.
- By state: Find here
- By third party (if your state doesn’t offer online registration): Register here
- What you will need: (Check here for ID questions)
- Valid driver’s license (for state you’re registering in) OR
- ID Card (for state you’re registering in) OR
- Last 4 digits of your social security number
Registering another way:
- In person at: DMV or State/local voter registration (Country Registrar) or Election Offices
- By mail: PDF to Download, Print and Mail
- By absentee ballot. Click Here for preliminary information if you’re that excited about this topic.
Confirm by receiving your voter card in the mail:
This will give you an address for your polling place and sample ballot with all the candidates and the issues you’ll be voting on.
Confirm your voter registration or change where you’re registered by your state here.
And check out this Quick Voting Information Guide for more info.