To be eligible to vote in the United States you must be
- 18 years old or more by election day
- A citizen of the United States
- A resident of the state that you are registered to vote
- Not in prison
- Not on parole
*if you are a rehabilitated felon you can contact your local election board on your voting rules.
Take some time to educate yourself about the issues that you will be voting and the candidates and parties that fit with your beliefs. You can register with a certain party. When you are picking a party that you want to register with be sure to find out what the parties general views are. Are they more about decreasing government control, or conserving the environment? What issues are more important to you? You do not have to register with a certain political party, there is a box to mark on your voter registration form that allows you to have ‘no party preference’. You can change the political party that you are associated with at any time up to 15 days before the election. You must fill out a new registration form with the new party that you want to vote for. The parties include:
- the Democratic Party – 7,553,000 members
- the Republican Party – 5,228,000 members
- the Independent Party – 397,000 members
- the Peace and Freedom Party – 57,000 members
- the Green Party – 113,000 members
- the Libertarian Party – 87,000 members
Register to Vote Online
You can register to vote online from the comfort of your home. To vote online you must go to your State’s Election Board website and send your voter registration form to your election board. To complete your form you will need a valid ID number from a driver’s license or State ID, your social security number, your date of birth, and your address.
Register to Vote In Person
If you want to register to vote in person you can do so at your local DMV, your state’s voter registration office, any armed service recruitment center, or public assistance facilities.
Register to Vote by Mail
Print a out your registration application and mail it to your local voter registration office. If you are a first time applicant, you are required to show proof of identification. You can either bring a form of identification the first time you vote or you can submit a copy of your proof of identification with your mail in registration. Forms of identification include:
- A valid and current photo ID
- A current paycheck, government document, utility bill, or bank statement that displays your name and address.
Voter Registration Deadlines
Each state has different voter registration deadlines, check out the deadlines for your state.
After you Apply
Shortly after you apply online, in person, or mail, you will receive your voter’s card via mail. You do not need to bring this voter’s card to vote but it is useful in telling you where you should go to vote on election day.
Early voting is an increasingly popular option that allows people to skip the congestion at the polls. To find out more about how to vote early in your state visit registertovote.org.