How To Register To Vote In Time For The Presidential Election In November
The 2016 presidential election cycle has been like no other. Though it feels like it's been years since candidates first announced their campaigns and nominees were chosen, the general election is still weeks away. That's good news for new voters or those who still need to register. Knowing how to register to vote in time for the election is a time-sensitive endeavor (hurry!) but not necessarily a difficult one.
In most states, you must be registered to vote at least 30 days before an election to be eligible to cast a ballot. That means you've got until Sunday, Oct. 9 to register to vote in the general election, which will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 8. The states that require at least 30 days are Alaska, Arkansas, Hawaii, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas.
Some states are more lenient, however. Colorado, Connecticut, Washington, D.C., Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, and Wyoming all allow voters to register up until the last minute, even on Nov. 8 at polling places. Some of those states require proof of residency, such as a driver's license, utility bill, or student ID card. Though Rhode Island does allow voters to register and vote on election day, that privilege is only reserved for presidential elections.
Thanks to technology's rising role in elections, it's now easier than ever to register to vote. The site iwillvote.com not only allows you to register but shows whether you're already registered. Once you submit your information, the site delivers three prompts: one for new registrants, one to update your information, and one to check your status.
IWillVote provides information on whether or not you can register online to vote in your state. If so, IWillVote provides a redirect to your state's voting portal as well as a link for you to print out information to fill out and then mail. It's worth noting that states go off of the postmarked date of voter registration information, so as long as you get your letter to the post office by Oct. 9, you'll be good to vote.
Another great resource comes care of Google, which unveiled an election-minded Google Doodle on Monday. By simply searching "where to register to vote," users will be provided with information on how to register either online, by mail, or in person, the latter of which tends to include government offices like your state's Department of Motor Vehicles as well as military recruitment centers. On the move but still want to register to vote? Hello.vote has made it so that Americans can text 384-387 and register via smartphone. You can even use their services to register to vote via Facebook Messenger.
The 2016 election is one of the most important ones in our lifetime and also the most tech-savvy the nation has ever seen. Registering to vote has never been more accessible. And with so many options as to how to register, there's no excuse not to before your state's deadline.