Last night was the second Presidential debate between republican candidate Donald Trump and democrat candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton and a startling majority of citizens aren’t registered to vote yet. Please, make your voice heard not only on social media but in the upcoming election polling places.
Deadlines for those who have yet to register are quickly approaching, but it’s not too late to do. If you are unsure of when your state deadline is, you can check it out here.
The Huffington Post made a series about the millennial mindset about this upcoming election and one of the highlights was that 58% of millennials think that voting is very important and 37% believe that it’s their civic duty to do so.
With that being said here is a general FAQ about the registration and voting process:
Who can vote?
Anyone who is:
- 18 years of age
- A citizen of the U.S. and meets the residency requirements of his or her state
Who cannot vote?
- Non-citizens, including permanent legal residents
- Some people with felony convictions. Rules vary by state. Check with your state elections office about the laws in your state.
- Some people who are mentally incapacitated. Rules vary by state.
- U.S. citizens residing in U.S. territories can participate in the presidential primary but not in the general election
What do I need to register to vote?
At least 39 states allow you to register online. Otherwise, you can register via mail. If you are interested in registering online, you can check if your state participates here. Some states like California and Oregon automatically register voters when they apply for their driver’s licenses or state ID’s.
When do I have to register to vote?
That will depend on your state. For the most part, you should be registered by election day. However, some states allow registering on Election Day.
Note: If you registered in 2008 and you haven’t moved or changed addresses within the last four years, then you don’t need to register again — you’re all set!
When does the registration period end?
It all depends on your state (click here for the full list) but generally, registration periods close 30 days before election day.
Do primaries, caucuses or political party limit who can vote or how they vote?
No. In the general election, you can vote for any Presidential candidate on the ballot from any party regardless of:
- Whether you voted in your state’s primaries or caucuses
- Who you voted for in the primaries or caucuses
- Whether you’re registered with a political party
Where should I vote? How do I find my polling place?
After you register, you will receive your polling place information in the mail which will give you the exact address for where you need to vote. Polling places rarely change.
So why vote? Citizens help determine the next president. By voting, you add one more voice to your district. As members of a democracy, we have a right to use our voices. Even if you are less than enthused about the presidential candidates in a given election, it’s important not to forget the impact we can have in local races. Check out your municipality candidates, local propositions and senate candidates here.