This year, Election Day in the United States falls on Tuesday, Nov. 8. Now is a good time to check your voter registration status. Elections are made inclusive, accurate and credible by knowing who is eligible and where they can vote. 

The most common way people register to vote is when receiving or renewing their driver’s license or state ID. If your name and address have not changed since the last election and you have voted in the past ten years, you are likely already registered. But if you’ve moved (even within the same city or state), changed your name, or haven’t voted recently, you will need to register to vote – and that deadline might be sooner than you think!

Check Your Registration

Most states (except Maine and Wyoming) let voters can check their registration online. Choose your state at and click How to Check Your Voter Registration to check your registration. Most states require your first and last name and birthday; some also ask for your home address, driver’s license or state ID number, or social security number.

If you need to register to vote, you have three options: online, by mail, or in person. Each state has different options and deadlines; the sooner you check, the better!

Register Online

If your state offers online voter registration, you can find the link under your state’s section at (Online voter registration is not available in Arkansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, or Texas.) Online can be the fastest way to register – but don’t assume you can do it last minute! Some states (including Alaska, Rhode Island, and South Carolina) require online voter registration to be completed a month before Election Day.

Register By Mail

Every state has a printable form to register by mail. Mail-in registration needs to be postmarked by a certain date; for some states, it’s as early as Sunday, Oct. 9 (Alaska, Rhode Island, and South Carolina), and for others, it is as late as Tuesday, Nov. 1 (Connecticut). 

Register In-Person

Every state allows voters to register in person before or on Election Day. Check your state’s election website to find the in-person registration deadline, where to register, and what proof of identity you need to bring.

Same-Day Registration

Some states allow voters to register in person on Election Day. Voters can register at the same polling place where they will cast their vote. Make sure you know what proof of identity you need (like a driver’s license or state ID, or a recent bill with your name and address) if you live in a state that offers same-day voter registration.

Voting Early or Absentee

There can be many reasons a voter cannot vote in person on Election Day. Many states allow voting early in person or by mail-in absentee ballot. Some states allow any voter to vote early or absentee; other states have specific requirements.

Once you’re registered to vote (or if you will register on Election Day), there are still a few more things to do:

1) Find Your Polling Place.

You can find your polling place online, or you may receive a mailing from your Secretary of State to let you know where to cast your vote.

2) Know Your Rights As A Voter.

Although each state conducts voter registration differently, every voter has the same rights. If you’re filling out a paper ballot and make a mistake, you have the right to a new ballot. If you’re in line when the polls close, you still have the right to vote – stay in line! If election machines are down at your polling place, you have the right to a paper ballot.

If it’s too late to register to vote or if you arrive at your polling place and your registration is challenged, you have the right to request a provisional ballot. (Some states call them “challenge” or “affidavit” ballots.) If an election official has questions about a voter’s eligibility, they are required to offer a provisional ballot. Most states then keep the provisional ballot separate from regular ballots, and determine within days after the election if the ballot should be counted. (Idaho, Minnesota, and New Hampshire do not offer provisional ballots because they have same-day voter registration.)

3) Make a Plan to Vote.

One of the ways to increase turnout and fairly represent the voters of America is for each voter to have a plan for how they will vote. Plan to coordinate transportation, child care, or anything else you may need to make it easier to cast your vote. You might even want to partner with your family, roommates, or neighbors to go to your polling place together! Getting a plan on your calendar is one of the most effective ways to follow through on voting.

4) Get Informed on the Candidates and Issues.

Voters might notice their congressional choices have changed in 2022. After every ten-year census, the number of representatives for each state may change. The results of the 2020 census changed the number of representatives for thirteen states. Arizona, Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, and Oregon each added one seat, while Texas gained two. Seven states each lost a seat — Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia. Each of those states then changed their congressional district maps — meaning voters might have a new representative even if they haven’t changed addresses.

Every state contributes in an important way in midterm elections. Midterms fill all 435 seats in the House of Representatives and thirty-five of one hundred seats in the Senate. In the 2022 election, thirty-six states and three U.S. territories will vote for their governors. Many other state and local elections will be on the ballot. Vote411 is a nonpartisan source for sample ballots and statements from candidates on key issues in their city, county, or state.

Midterm elections fall in the middle of the current president’s term, and often have lower voter turnout; people can feel like the election is less important. But in fact, midterm elections have a significant impact on the governance of our cities, counties, states, and country. Take time now to check your voter registration and make a plan to vote!


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