PUBLISHED SEP 24, 2019

National Voter Registration Day FAQ: Here’s everything you need to know

NVRD Hero

The Story

Welcome to National Voter Registration Day. Let this be your not-so-gentle reminder to register to vote.

Give me the deets.

NVRD is the fourth Tuesday of every September. This year, circle September 24 in red, white, and blue on the cal.

[There's a big election next year. We have alllll the info you need to make it to the polls. Check it out.]

Does it work?

Over 800,000 voters registered as a result in 2018 – the biggest National Voter Registration Day ever.

How do I check if I’m registered to vote?

Good question. Right here. It will also let you know how to register.

Do I need to be a US citizen to register?

Yes. You need to be a naturally born or naturalized US citizen (a person who was born in another country, but has lawfully become an US citizen) to vote.

What if I was previously convicted of a felony?

Your voting rights may vary from state to state. Check here.

How do I get an absentee ballot?

You have to request one. You can do that here.

How do I vote if I’m living abroad?

You’ll need an absentee ballot, but there’s a special process for how to get it if you’re overseas. Go here.

What is my absentee ballot deadline?

You can check all of your state-specific deadlines.

My address/name has changed. Do I need to re-register/update my info?

Yes. This process can vary depending on where you live. So double check. If your state says to submit a new voter registration, you can do that through our site.

What about if I moved states?

You’ll probably need to register in your state. In some states, you may be eligible to register to vote right after moving. In others, you may need to wait or be living in the state for a certain amount of time (think: 30 days for some) before you register to vote in the next election.

How do I switch political parties?

Re-submit your voter registration. Heads up that in general elections, you can vote for whichever candidates you want, regardless of which party you registered with. It can vary by state but if you want to be able to vote for a certain party’s candidates the next time there are primary elections, you should re-register.

Can I register without a driver’s license?

Yes, although you’ll still have to provide some sort of ID, like a state ID number or your SSN. And depending on your state, you may need some form of ID when you show up at the polls on Election Day. You can check that here.

Where can I find unbiased info about the candidates?

So glad you asked. Right now, our 2020 site has everything you need to know about all the candidates running for president.

When should I get ready to put my voting hat to cast a ballot for the prez?

Tuesday, November 3, 2020.

What’s up for grabs?

All 435 seats in the House of Representatives, 34 of the 100 seats in the Senate, and the office of president of the US. Casual.

Why does this matter?

Because the balance of power in Congress is at stake. Meaning the future of issues like health care, immigration, Supreme Court nominations, and a whole lot more is on the line. Plus state lawmakers looking for your vote have the power to affect how the state addresses things like abortion and gun policy.

Does my vote really matter?

Yes. Lots of elections are decided by a very small amount of votes. The Bush v Gore race in 2000 was ultimately decided by 537 votes out of almost six million votes in Florida. Those votes gave George W. Bush a majority of the electoral college, even though Al Gore won the popular vote by 543,895 of votes cast. In 2016, the presidential race was decided by around 80,000 votes in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Donald Trump won the popular vote in those states by that combined amount. And it sealed the race for Trump in the electoral college. But, more Americans voted for Hillary Clinton than any other losing presidential candidate in US history (read: she got around 2.9 million more votes than Trump). Those are just two examples of many. Like we said, your vote matters.

theSkimm

Register. Get everyone you know to register. Then vote.

PS: Want more 2020 coverage? We've got you covered. Check it out here.

Sign up for the Daily Skimm and join the millions who already wake up with us.

Related

Skimm'tionary: The 2020 buzzwords
Terms to Know