How to Register to Vote in the US
To cast ballots in US elections you are required to register to vote, at least in all states except the state of North Dakota. In addition to state-specific rules, there are basic steps that people need to follow in order to vote.
- In every state apart from North Dakota, voter registration is needed
- Absentee voting is allowed in every state
- A majority of states assign the people voting to cast their ballot at specific voting locations or polling places
The government uses voter registration to make sure that people who vote in elections are eligible based on the applicable laws. Registration also ensures that voters vote in the right location and they only vote once. When registering to vote, you are required to provide your name, address, and any other relevant information to government office running the elections in the location you live. It may be a city, a county, or a state office.Sponsored Links
Why It’s Important to Register to Vote:
Once you have registered to cast the ballot, the elections office looks at your address to see the voting district you are required to vote in. It is important that you vote in the right place because the candidate you are voting for largely depends on the location you live. For instance, a person living on one street may have a set of candidates for city council and if he or she lives in the next block, their location may be in a different council ward meaning they could be voting for completely different people. The persons in a precinct or voting district vote in the same location. A majority of districts are quite small although, in remote or rural areas, a district can extend miles. If you move to a new location, you should re-register to cast a ballot in that area to make sure you will be voting in the correct place.
Eligibility to Vote in the US:
You are eligible to cast the ballot in federal elections if:
- Either by birth or by naturalization you are a citizen of US
- You meet the residency requirements for your state
- You are 18 years of age but some states allow people aged 17 years to cast the ballot in primaries or to register to cast the ballot if they will have attained 18 years before the general elections are held.
Who Can’t Vote:
Not everyone living in the US is allowed to vote, that’s the right to vote in the United States of America is not universal. Depending on circumstances and the laws set by individual states, some people will not be allowed to cast the ballot. For example:
- Non-citizens including green card holders or those having permanent legal residency but they are non- citizens are not allowed to cast their ballot in any state within the US
- Some individuals who have had convictions of felonies can’t vote and the rules may differ based on specific states
- In some states, individuals legally declared to be mentally incapacitated can’t cast their ballot.
Most, though not all states in Uthe S have two other rules; one is – you cannot vote if you are a felon or committed a serious crime and two – if you are mentally incapacitated. Also, in some few places, a person can vote during elections even if they aren’t citizens of the US. So you should check your state rules for voting.Sponsored Links
When you want to register to vote, you can visit Vote.gov where you register online or download the registration form which you can fill out on your computer and print the filled form and send it. You can also download and print the black form whereby you fill using a pen. Remember that not all states allow online voter registration.