As the 2016 presidential election rapidly approaches, voter registration deadlines are quickly passing in many states. Hopefully you've already registered to vote by now, but, if not, you may still be able to do so, depending on where you live.
First, there is still time to submit a traditional voter registration form in some states. Most states have deadlines by which voter registration forms must be postmarked or received in person (or both). If you live in the following eight states, there is still time to submit your voter registration either via mail or in person, depending on the state's requirements: Alabama, California, Connecticut, Iowa, Nebraska, New Hampshire, South Dakota, and Vermont. However, submission deadlines for these states are rapidly approaching, so check Rock the Vote's registration deadline calendar to check the specific submission rules and deadlines for your state.
If the deadline to submit a traditional voter registration form has already passed in your state, there is still a possibility that you can vote in the election, depending on where you live. A significant number of states now offer Election Day registration at your polling place, meaning you can register to vote in-person on Nov. 8. Presently, 13 states allow for Election Day voter registration, so you are in luck if you live in one of the following places and have not yet registered: Colorado, Connecticut, Washington, D.C., Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, Utah, Wisconsin, or Wyoming.
If you live in one of these locations and wish to register to vote on Election Day, it is imperative that you bring proof of residency and identification with you to your polling place. A state driver's license or ID card will satisfy both requirements. In some states, other documents, like utility bills, may establish your residency, but they also need to be accompanied by an ID. You should be sure to check your state's specific residency and ID requirements before registering to vote in-person on Election Day.
In addition to the traditional voter registration form submission and Election Day voter registration options described above, there are still a couple more options for voter registration that exist. If you reside in Maryland or North Carolina, you can still register to vote in-person during the early voting period, which is currently ongoing. If you live in North Dakota, voter registration is not required, so you are already eligible to vote on Election Day as long as you bring proof of residency and identification to your polling place. Finally, if you have a driver's license and live in one of the following five states — California, Connecticut, Oregon, Vermont, and West Virginia — you are likely already registered to vote, since these states have automatic voter registration at their DMVs unless you actively choose to opt-out of registration.
While the registration deadline has passed for some states, there are clearly still a variety of options in many states for people who are not yet registered to vote. Therefore, if voter registration is still open in your state and you want to make sure your voice is heard in this incredibly important election, make sure to register as soon as possible so you can have your say.