Voter Registration for November Elections Quickly Approaches

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With the midterm elections rapidly approaching, so does the last day to register to vote. Even though this is a right, it is also a civic duty for all adults 18 years and older. Many eligible voters dismiss their need to vote because, as they say, “it is a right, not a law.” However, one must show their pride in citizenship and fulfill their responsibility.

While every election is vital, the elections taking place on Tuesday, November 7, 2018, are especially important. Congressional elections take place in the midterm.

On the federal level, the Republicans need to keep the majority in Congress, whereas the Democrats intend to tip the balance in their direction. In this election, each of the 435 House of Representative seats and over one-third Senate seats will be contested.

To aid the voter, state and local jurisdictions have the candidate and legislative data on their election office websites. In most cases, arguments for and against a person, or bill can be read to make it easier for voters to make sensible decisions.

Voter Registration General Rules and Deadlines

On the state website, voters can find complete information on where and how to complete their registration. Voters can confirm or update their data, request an absentee ballot and more.

The list below was provided by Vote.org and was last updated on January 13, 2018. For brevity, the number of days is listed for the deadline to register, in person, by mail or online. However, if registering online is not available it will be noted. Any other rules and notes are provided as needed.

  • Alabama: 15 days. Same day registration is allowed.
  • Alaska: 30 days.
  • Arizona: 29 days.
  • Arkansas: 30 days. Online registration not available.
  • California: 15 days. Same day registration is allowed.
  • Colorado: In person on election day, or 8 days before.
  • Connecticut: 7 days. Same day registration is allowed.
  • Delaware: The fourth Saturday before primary and general elections. 10 days before special elections.
  • District of Columbia: In person on election day, and either in person or online by 4:45 p.m. ET. of the 21st day before the election.
  • Florida: 29 days. Online registration not available. Special rules for military personnel and their families.
  • Georgia: By the fifth Monday before.
  • Hawaii: 29 days. Same day registration is allowed.
  • Idaho: In person on election day or 25 days before.
  • Illinois: In person on election day or 28 days before.
  • Indiana: 29 days.
  • Iowa: 10 days. Same day registration is allowed.
  • Kansas: 21 days before.
  • Kentucky: 29 days before.
  • Louisiana: 30 days before.
  • Maine: In person on election day or by mail 21 days before. Online registration not available.
  • Maryland: During early voting, same-day registration. Otherwise, by mail, 21 days. In person, between 13 and 5 days before.
  • Michigan: 30 days. Online registration not available.
  • Massachusetts: In person on election day or by mail 21 days before.
  • Montana: In person before noon on election day or by mail 30 days before. Online registration not available.
  • Nebraska: In person the 2nd Friday, and the 3rd Friday by mail and online.
  • Nevada: 21 days either in person or online and 31 days by mail.
  • New Hampshire: In person before noon on election day or by mail 10 days before. Online registration not available.
  • New Jersey: 21 days in person or by mail. Online registration not available.
  • New Mexico: 28 days.
  • New York: 25 days.
  • North Carolina: 25 days either in person or by mail. Online registration not available.
  • North Dakota: No voter registration. Bring valid identification and proof of residency to polls on election day.
  • Ohio: 30 days
  • Oklahoma: 25 days either in person or by mail. Online registration not available.
  • Oregon: 21 days.
  • Pennsylvania: 30 days.
  • Rhode Island: Same day for presidential elections. All other elections registration is required 30 days prior.
  • South Carolina: 30 days.
  • South Dakota: 15 days either in person or by mail. Online registration not available.
  • Tennessee: 30 days.
  • Texas: 30 days. Online registration not available.
  • Utah: 7 days either in person or online and 30 days by mail.
  • Vermont: No deadline. Special rules apply.
  • Virginia: 22 days.
  • Washington: 8 days either in person or online and 29 days by mail.
  • West Virginia: 21 days. Same day registration allowed.
  • Wisconsin: 20 days. Same day registration allowed.
  • Wyoming: 14 days either in person or by mail. Online registration not available. Same day registration allowed.

Voting is a Civic Responsibility

Registering to vote is only the first step in the process. The next step is to turn out on election day. Historically, United States citizens seem to ignore their duty to cast a ballot. In fact, only 58 percent of eligible voters went to the polls during the presidential election in 2016. Instead, America needs to have a 100 percent voter turn out.

Written by Cathy Milne-Ware

Sources:

Vote.org: Voter Registration Deadlines
USA.gov: Voting and Elections
PBS News Hour: What does voter turnout tell us about the 2016 election?

Featured Image Courtesy of Thomas Cizauskas’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Top Image by Cathy Milne-Ware