Voter Registration

Voter registration process varies across the 50 states and the District of Columbia.  All states except North Dakota require citizens to register before voting.  Every state and the District of Columbia require that a voter be a U.S. Citizen, at least 18 years of age, and a resident.  Many states and the District of Columbia require that a voter be a resident for a minimum period of time, usually about 30 days.  In addition, most states limit voter eligibility on the basis of criminal status and mental competency, although the specifics of these limitations vary.

Why do I need to register to vote?

  • All states with the exception of North Dakota require eligible citizens to be registered to vote in the state if they wish to cast a ballot in state and federal elections.
  • When you register to vote your name is added to the list of qualified registered voters in the state.  This allows the right to vote in elections held in the state.
  • Who can register to vote?

  • You must be a United States Citizen (Naturalized or Native Born).
  • You must be at least 18 years of age by Election Day. 
  • You must be a resident of the state where you plan to vote.
  • Not be a convicted felon or on parole for committing a felony. 
  • Not claim the right to vote in another state, borough, county, or city.
  • How do I register to vote?

  • Register online here. Fill out the form online. Then, print, sign, and mail the form.
  • You can also register to vote at your local Elections Board/Office.
  • You can register to vote at your local Department of Motor Vehicles.
  • Most State and public social service offices, which provide public services or assistance programs (e.g. Unemployment offices or Social Security office).
  • In many states you can also download a voter registration form by visiting your Election Board/Office website and clicking on voter registration links.
  • What kind of information do I need to register to vote?

  • To register to vote you need only provide basic information:  Full Name; Address; Citizenship; Age; Sex; etc. 
  • You will also be asked to provide your Driver's License/ID Number or last four digits of your Social Security Number, depending on the identification requirements in your state.
  • Registration forms vary state by state. Some states will ask questions about your race and ethnicity as well.  In most states this information is optional.
  • Every state maintains an Information Privacy Law. To find out more call your Election official.
  • If I register today will I be able to vote in this election?

    Most states have a close of registration deadline.  Eligible citizens who wish to vote in an election must register before that deadline, usually 30 to 15 days before Election Day.  Be sure to find out if your state has a close of registration deadline. 

    What if I registered to vote before, do I need to re-register?

    You do not need to re-register for every election.  Unless:
    • you have changed your address since you last registered, you must re-register.
    • you legally changed your name, you must re-register.  For example, if you recently married and changed your name.
    • you have not voted in more than two consecutive federal elections, you should confirm your voter registration status before voting.
    • you wish to change your political party affiliation, you must re-register.
    • you move (every time) or change your address, you should re-register to vote.

    How do I find out if I am still registered to vote?

  • Contact your local elections office to confirm the status of your voter registration or click here to confirm online.
  • If you registered to vote but have not voted in several consecutive elections you should call your elections official to find out if you are still registered to vote in your city, county, or borough.