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U.S. Elections

Voter Registration

Every state issues own rules about being eligible to register. Since these requirements may change this information should be retrieved from the state, city, or local government.
Generally speaking:
In order to vote you have to be 18 years old but some states allow the registration even before the 18th birthday. Being U.S. Citizen is another requirement and some states require the potential voter to live in the state at least a certain period of time, e.g. 30 days or so.
States usually have a voter registration deadline before the election day. These deadlines can be found on the "Election Assistance Commission (EAC)" Website.
On election day the polling locations usually open between 6 and 8 a.m.

In 2004 ca. 30 states introduced the 'no-excuse' early voting possibility, which means that a voter has the choice to vote via 'absentee ballot' (=by mail) or 'in-person' at selected polling locations earlier than Election Day without giving a reason. In the 2000 elections were it only 10 or 11 states.

Registration applications may be obtained from either the local election official in your county or city, or through registration outreach programs sponsored by such groups as the League of Women Voters.
In addition, you can also register to vote when applying for a driver’s license or identity card at State DMV or driver's licensing offices, State offices providing public assistance, State offices providing State-funded programs for the disabled, and at Armed Forces recruitment offices.
Many states also offer registration opportunities at public libraries, post offices, unemployment offices, and at public high schools and universities. Colleges, universities, and trade schools participating in federal student loan programs also offer voter registration applications to enrolled students prior to general elections.

Register to vote by mail
The National Mail Voter Registration Form is the one document that allows you to register to vote from anywhere in the United States.
The National Form can be used to:
Register out-of-town tourist and convention groups
Register people from surrounding states who work, shop, or attend events in a central city
Conduct voter registration drives, especially at colleges and universities
Register individuals at State agencies or other public offices States that accept the national form will accept copies of the application printed from the computer image on regular paper stock, signed by the applicant, and mailed in an envelope with first class postage.

In completing this application, be sure to follow the General Instructions as well as the Application Instructions and specific State Instructions for your State which include the address to use for mailing the application.

Please Note the Following Exceptions: New Hampshire town and city clerks will accept this application only as a request for their own mail-in absentee voter registration form. North Dakota does not have voter registration. Wyoming cannot accept this form under State law.



Document Information
Source: FEC - Federal Elections Commission
Last modified: 20040804
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