Online Voter Guides

September 21, 2010


Updated for 2010- Voting After You Move: A Guide

A fifty-state survey, this Guide is designed to help voters navigate the various state laws governing voters who move. Our nation has an incredibly mobile population: according to U.S. Census figures, approximately twenty-nine million voting-age Americans-or one in six people-move each year. With the current economic climate and crisis in foreclosure, the number of movers will likely be even greater in some jurisdictions.

Click here to access the guide.

Updated for 2012- Legal Guide to Student Voting

This guide is is an online voter education resource designed to help students and advocates understand the diverse patchwork of state laws governing student voters.  Many students who leave home to attend college are often misinformed about where they are eligible to vote.  This resource explains the basic residency, registration, identification, and absentee voting requirements for student voters in each of the 50 states and Washington, D.C.

Click here to access the guide.

General Information for Voters





      1. Be sure you are properly registered.  Most states require voters to register in advance of an election (although some allow voters to register on Election Day).  Deadlines range from 3 to 30 days before an election.  To find out if you are properly registered, ensure that your address is up to date, obtain a copy of a voter registration form, or learn about registration deadlines in your state, contact your local election officials or call 866-OUR-VOTE.  More information about registration rules in your state is available here, here, and here.  If you moved since registering, look here.
      2. Be sure you go to the correct polling place.  In many states, if you vote at the wrong location, your vote will not be counted.  If you are unsure exactly where to vote, find your polling location by contacting your local election officials, calling 866-OUR-VOTE, or visiting this website.
      3. Find out your options for convenient voting.  Many states will allow individuals to vote prior to Election Day, either in person or by absentee ballot.  Absentee voters typically must request an absentee ballot in advance.  To learn about the options in your state, including how to obtain an absentee ballot, call 866-OUR-VOTE or look online here, here, or here.    
      4. Find out if you are required to show ID.  Every state has identification requirements for at least some categories of voters.  Find out the rules for your state by visiting these websites or calling 866-OUR-VOTE.
      5. Review sample ballots and information about candidates and issues.
      6. If you familiarize yourself with the layout and instructions of the ballot, you can prevent mistakes when you go to vote.  Some local election officials will provide you with a sample ballot if you request one.  Also, know who and what you’re voting for. You can research all candidates and ballot issues by contacting local civic groups or visiting this website. 
      7. Assert your rights.  If you are an eligible voter in your state and you registered, you have the right to vote, whether or not a poll worker finds your name on the list or a political operative challenges your eligibility at the polls.  If there is any question about your ability to vote a regular ballot on Election Day, call 866-OUR-VOTE.  And know that even voters whose eligibility is in question are entitled to vote by provisional ballot.

            If you have questions, concerns, or problems, call 1-866-OUR-VOTE.

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