Post-Wedding, You'll Need To Re-Register To Vote

by S. Atkinson
Originally Published: 

You've done it: you've tied the knot, torn into your wedding presents, made it through the mother of all post-wedding hangovers, and life's pretty much perfect. Except for one pressing question for the democratically-conscious bride: can you vote after marrying and changing your name? Yes, you can, but you'll need to be organized. If you've changed your name via marriage (or in general), you will need to re-register to vote, and you can do so here in less than two minutes.

If you have filed a voter registration form to update your name, you should be able to vote under your brand-new, married name — as long as you filed the form approximately 20-30 days (a rule of thumb, though processing times vary from state to state) before you'll need to vote. After all, the registration office will need time to process the form. If you haven't yet re-registered to vote, but you have already updated the name on your state driver's license, refer to the form you completed. Often states have a section allowing you to update your voter registration details along with the details on your driver's license all at once. You may not even know it, but you may already have updated your details as a voter this way.


In the worst case scenario — in which you haven't yet re-registered to vote under a new name or you haven't updated your driver's license or the form didn't contain this section — try checking out this webpage to see what the current ID required by each state to vote is. Some states are "non-strict" i.e. if a voter doesn't have identification, they can use an option to cast their ballot without them needing to follow-up on their vote. In this scenario, "a voter may sign an affidavit of identity, or poll workers may be permitted to vouch for the voter."

In strict states, voters cast their votes on a provisional ballot and then follow up with additional action, i.e. returning to the electoral office a few days after the election and showing "acceptable ID." While this may not be a perfect solution if you're a long way off from securing the relevant ID, if you're close to getting the ID but feel it'll arrive a few days later than the elections, this could be a good solution.

So in summary: if you're reading this now and you haven't yet re-registered to vote, do so immediately. If you're reading this a little later, check the form you filled out to change the name on your driver's license, or the local laws in your state for the ID you need to bring to the ballots.

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