On November 6, 2012, U.S. citizens will have the opportunity to vote for the next President of the United States! However, if you have recently moved to a new state or are planning a to move out of state before Election Day, you might not get the opportunity!
This blog post will explain exactly how to change voter registration if you’re moving out of state, or have moved to a new state recently.
Just so there’s no confusion, here are the requirements to be eligible to vote:
- In most states, you must be 18 years old to vote. Some states have residency requirements to vote. Get the specific voting requirements for your state by contacting your state’s election office.
How to Register to Vote
You can register to vote by using the National Mail Voter Registration Form. The states that do not accept the form include North Dakota, Wyoming, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. New Hampshire accepts it only as a request for absentee voter mail-in registration form.
You can use the National Mail Voter Registration Form to change your name, change your address, or register with a political party.
You can register to vote in person at these places:
- State or local voter registration and/or election offices
- The department of motor vehicles
- Armed Services Recruitment Centers, Public assistance agencies, state-funded programs that serve people with disabilities, any public facility that a state has designated as a voter registration agency.
- Some states allow you to register to vote online. Check with your state’s election office to see if they offer online voting registration.
State Registration Deadlines
Mostly all states have a voter registration deadline. This deadline VERY important to know so that you can be eligible to vote in this November’s election.
- Alabama: Voter registration closed 10 days before an election. Applications must be postmarked or delivered by the 11th day prior to the election.
- Alaska, Arkansas, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina,. Tennessee, & Texas: 30 days before the election
- Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, & Kentucky: 29 days before the election,
- California: 15 days before the election
- Connecticut: 14 days before the election
- Delaware: The 4th Saturday before the election
- Georgia: The 5th Monday before the election
- Idaho, New York, & Oklahoma: 25 days before the election
- Illinois, Missouri, & New Mexico 28 days before the election
- Iowa: Before 5 PM, 10 days before the election. Applications must be postmarked 15 days before the election. Can register to vote on election day.
- Kansas: Must be postmarked 15 days before the election
- Maine: Delivered 10 business days before the election, or register in-person up to and on election day
- Maryland: Delivered by 9 PM, 21 days before the election
- Massachusetts: 20 days before the election
- Minnesota: Delivered by 5 PM, 21 days before the election. Can register at polling facility on election day.
- Nebraska: The 3rd Friday before the election, or delivered by 6 PM, on the 2nd Friday before the election.
- New Hampshire: Absentee voter mail-in registration form only. You can register to vote on election day.
- New Jersey, Oregon, West Virginia: 21 days before the election
- North Carolina: Must be postmarked 25 days before the election, or received by 5 PM, 55 days before the election
- North Dakota: No voter registration
- South Dakota: Form must be received 15 days before the election
- Utah: 30 days before for mail-in applications, 15 days for walk-in registrations
- Vermont: Delivered to the town clerk before 5 PM, on the Wednesday before the election
- Virginia: 22 days before the election
- Washington: 30 days before election or 15 days before the election if delivered to local voter registration office
- Wisconsin: 20 days before the election or at the voter registration office up to 5 PM one day before the election. Can register on Election Day.
- Wyoming: Can’t use National Mail Voter Registration form. Must register in-person, by email, or at the polls on Election Day.
Again, make sure you know your state’s Election Day deadline, as it could mean getting to vote or not getting to vote in this year’s election.
*As of August 2012, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, and Michigan have requested a change to their state’s voting instructions. However, the Election Assistance Commission has not yet approved their requests.
You can get even more information about voting in the EAC’s voting guide! It’s available in 11 different languages. It includes info on eligibility, early voting, the voting process for military and civilians living abroad, and how the voting process works.
Make your vote count!
Voting is a great way to establish residency in your new state. Most states allow a 60-day grace period for you to be able to vote using your old address. Check with your state’s election office to get the specifics about moving and registering to vote.
What other questions do you have about voting and moving to a new state? Let me know by commenting below!
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