Voting in Person on Election Day

Find out when and where to vote and what to bring with you on Election Day. Learn about accessibility rules for voters with disabilities.

Can I Vote Online?

No, you can’t vote online in U.S. elections.

In most elections in the United States, you either need to vote in-person at an official polling place or by casting an absentee ballot.

Find your polling place or request an absentee ballot.

Find Your Polling Location

Find Out Where to Vote

Contact your state/territorial election office for your polling place and hours. Also, contact them if you need an accommodation.

There are tools online that can help you find your polling location, hours, and other details:

Cast Your Vote at Your Assigned Polling Place or Polling Station  

Polling locations are assigned by residential address. You should go to your assigned location since your name will not be on the roster at any other location. Your polling place may change from one election to the next, so check before you go to vote.

Voting at a Location That is Not Your Assigned Polling Place

  • If you try to vote somewhere other than your assigned location, you may have to cast a provisional ballot.

  • If you have a disability you have the right to vote at an accessible polling place. But you may have to request that beforehand.

Voter ID Requirements

Two-thirds of states expect you to provide identification to let you vote at the polls.

Find Out if You Need to Bring an ID to Vote

Your state’s laws determine whether you will need to show an ID and if so, what kind.

Photo ID versus Non-Photo ID

About half of the states with voter ID laws accept only photo IDs. These include

  • driver’s licenses
  • state-issued ID cards 
  • military ID cards 
  • passports 

Many of these states now offer a free voter photo ID card if you don’t have another form of valid photo ID.

Other states accept some types of non-photo ID. These may include

  • birth certificates 
  • Social Security cards 
  • bank statements 
  • utility bills 

Each state is specific about the documents it will accept as proof of identification. Be sure you know your state’s voter ID requirements before Election Day.

Procedures for Voting Without ID

Even if you don’t have a form of ID that your state asks for, you may be able to vote. Some states require you take extra measures after you vote to make sure that your vote counts.

Some states may ask you to sign a form affirming your identity. Other states will let you cast a provisional ballot. States use provisional ballots when there is a question about a voter's eligibility. States keep provisional ballots separate until they decide whether they should count. To do so, they will investigate a voter’s eligibility. They may also compel you to show an acceptable form of ID within a few days. If you don’t, your provisional ballot won’t count.

Name or Address Mismatch

Even with the right ID, you may have to cast a provisional ballot. This can happen if the name or address on your ID doesn’t match the name or address on your voter registration. For instance:

  • You get married, change your last name, and update your voter registration. But your driver’s license, which you present as ID, still has your unmarried name on it.

  • You move and for your voter ID, you present a current utility bill. Unfortunately, you've forgotten to update your address on your voter registration beforehand.

Some states require that you notify your local registration office of any name change.

Avoid problems. Always update your voter registration when you move or change your name.

First Time Voters

First time voters who didn’t register in person or show ID before must show identification. This is according to federal law.

Election Dates

Election Day in the U.S. is the Tuesday following the first Monday in November. Election Day this year is Tuesday, November 5, 2019. But you may be able to vote early or by absentee ballot. State and local races will be on the ballot in many areas.

State and local elections can occur at other times throughout the year. This includes primary and special elections. Check with your state or local election office or the U.S. Vote Foundation for elections coming up in your area.

The next federal election day is Tuesday, November 3, 2020, when citizens will vote for the president of the United States and members of Congress. Federal elections take place every two years, on even-numbered years. 

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Last Updated: October 16, 2019

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