Voting and Registering to Vote

Find the steps for voter registration, voting by absentee ballot, and how to avoid voter fraud.

Register to Vote

The U.S. Election Assistance Commission has resources for voters, including voter guides, registration information, voting accessibility, and information for military and overseas voters.

Voter Eligibility

  • An U.S. citizen who is at least 18 years of age can vote, although some states do allow 17 year olds to vote. 
  • States also have their own residency requirements to vote. For additional information about state-specific requirements and voter eligibility, contact your state/territorial election office.
  • Some states/territories don't allow convicted felons to vote. The specifics of the laws differ from state to state, and a felon may be eligible to have voting rights restored. For more information, contact your state/territorial election office.

How to Register to Vote 

The National Mail Voter Registration Form is the one document that allows you to register to vote in most states in the U.S. North Dakota, Wyoming, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands do not accept the National Mail Voter Registration Form. New Hampshire accepts it only as a request for an absentee voter mail-in registration form. If you live in one of these states, please check with your state election office to find out how to register to vote.

You may be able to apply to register to vote in person at the following public facilities:

In twenty states, you can register online to vote. Please see the table of states with online voter registration or contact your state election office to learn more.

If you are outside of the U.S., you can get information online from the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) or call an international FVAP hotline.

Change Your Registration

You may also use the National Mail Voter Registration Form to update your registration if you changed your name, to change your address, or to register with a political party.

State Registration Deadlines

Almost every state has a voter registration deadline. In order to be eligible to vote, you must submit the National Mail Voter Registration Form by these deadlines:

  • Alabama – Voter registration is closed during the 10 days before an election. Applications must be postmarked or delivered by the eleventh day prior to the election.
  • Alaska – 30 days before the election
  • Arizona – 29 days before the election
  • Arkansas – 30 days before the election
  • California – 15 days before the election
  • Colorado – 29 days before the election. If the application is received in the mails without a postmark, it must be received within 5 days of the close of registration.
  • Connecticut – 14 days before the election
  • Delaware – The fourth Saturday before a primary or general election, and 10 days before a special election.
  • District of Columbia – 30 days before the election
  • Florida – 29 days before the election
  • Georgia – The fifth Monday before any general primary, general election, or presidential preference primary, or regularly scheduled special election following the Georgia Election Code. If a special  election is scheduled on a date other that those dates prescribed by the Georgia Election Code, registration would close on the fifth day after the call.
  • Hawaii – 30 days before the election
  • Idaho – 25 days before the election
  • Illinois – 28 days before the election
  • Indiana – 29 days before the election
  • Iowa – Must be delivered by 5 PM, 10 days before the election, if it is a state primary or general election; 11 days before all others. Registration forms which are postmarked 15 or more days before an election are considered on time even if received after the deadline. If you fail to meet these deadlines, you can register to vote on election day.
  • Kansas – Postmarked or delivered 21 days before the election.
  • Kentucky – 29 days before the election
  • Louisiana – 30 days before the election
  • Maine – Delivered 21 business days before the election or you can register in-person up to and including election day.
  • Maryland – Delivered by 9 PM, 21 days before the election
  • Massachusetts – 20 days before the election
  • Michigan – 30 days before the election
  • Minnesota – Delivered by 5 PM, 21 days before the election. You can also register at the polling place on election day.
  • Mississippi – 30 days before the election
  • Missouri – 28 days before the election
  • Montana – 30 days before the election
  • Nebraska – The third Friday before the election (or delivered by 6 PM, on the second Friday before the election)
  • Nevada – The deadline for mail-in registration is the fifth Saturday before any primary or general election. In person registration remains available until 9 PM on the third Tuesday preceding any primary or general election. You may register to vote in person only by appearing at the office of the County Clerk/Registrar of Voters.
  • New Hampshire – Town and city clerks will accept the National Mail Voter Registration Form only as a request for their own absentee voter mail-in registration form, which your city or town clerk must receive by 10 days before the election. You can register at the town or city clerk’s office or in-person on election day.
  • New Jersey – 21 days before the election
  • New Mexico – 28 days before the election
  • New York – 25 days before the election
  • North Carolina – Postmarked 25 days before the election or received in the elections office or designated voter registration agency site by 5 PM, 25 days before the election.
  • North Dakota – No voter registration
  • Ohio – 30 days before the election
  • Oklahoma – 25 days before the election
  • Oregon – 21 days before the election
  • Pennsylvania – 30 days before an election or primary
  • Rhode Island – 30 days before the election
  • South Carolina – 30 days before the election
  • South Dakota – Received 15 days before the election
  • Tennessee – 30 days before the election
  • Texas – 30 days before the election
  • Utah – 30 days before the election for mail-in applications and 15 days before the election for walk-in registration at the county clerk’s office
  • Vermont – Delivered to the town clerk before 5 PM, on the Wednesday before the election
  • Virginia – Delivered 22 days before the election
  • Washington – 29 days before the election or 8 days before the election if delivered in person to the local voter registration office
  • West Virginia – 21 days before the election
  • Wisconsin – 20 days before the election or completed in the local voter registration office up to 5 PM or the close of business, whichever is later, on the Friday before the election. You can also register at the polling place on election day.
  • Wyoming – Cannot accept the National Mail Voter Registration Form. You can register in-person, by mail, or at the polls on election day.

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Report Voter Fraud or Voter Registration Fraud

Elections fraud means any irregularities or fraud arising out or in connection with voter registration or voting, or candidate petition or issue petition activities.

If you suspect voter or registration fraud, you should report it to your local state/territorial election office.   For most states this is done by the Secretary of State, in other states, it is a State Board of Elections. 

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Vote by Absentee Ballot

How do I vote when I am away from home?

  • You can vote by absentee ballot, which allows you to vote before the election.
  • You can return the ballot by mail to your local election officials.

How can I get an absentee ballot?

How can I get an absentee ballot if I'm outside the United States?

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Where Do I Vote?

You cast your vote at a polling place or polling station.  ​

How do I report a problem with a voting machine at a polling station?

If you have a problem with your voting machine at your polling location, let your local poll workers know. You can also contact your state/territorial election office.

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What you think matters!