Welcome to more things you need to know as a grown up.
When I first went to vote all those years ago, I had no clue what was going on. I was in the Navy and had to do an absentee ballot.
I didn’t even know what that was… Oh the shame.
Well, we won’t let that happen to you.
Once again we visit https://www.usa.gov/how-to-vote
Military and Overseas Voters
- Members of the military stationed overseas or outside their legal voting residence always have the right to vote absentee.
- Military spouses and other eligible family members are also allowed to vote absentee, under the same law that protects the military member’s right to vote.
- Most overseas citizens can vote absentee.
- Military and U.S. citizens overseas can register to vote and request an absentee ballot by completing a Federal Post Card Application (PDF, Download Adobe Reader).
- Visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program to learn more about your rights and the process.
Other Citizens Interested in Absentee Voting
- More than half of the states have no-excuse absentee voting, allowing every registered voter to take advantage of this convenience.
- Some states offer registered voters the option to register as permanent absentee voters.
- Twenty states require an excuse accepted by that state to vote absentee. This National Conference of State Legislatures table shows which states require an excuse. Accepted reasons vary from state to state but often include:
- Having an illness, injury, or disability that prevents you from getting to your designated polling place
- Being on business travel or vacation outside of your county or city of residence on Election Day
- Attending an out-of-state college or university
- Check the absentee ballot information on your state/territorial election office website to learn how to request an absentee ballot and to find out what excuses your state will accept, if one is required.
Sometimes circumstances might make it difficult or impossible for you to vote on Election Day, but your state may allow you to cast your ballot during a designated early voting period.
- The majority of states have early voting, which allows registered voters to vote on specified dates prior to Election Day.
- States with early voting do not require voters to submit an excuse explaining why they need to vote early.
- A few states don’t have early voting, but do have in-person absentee voting, which may allow you to cast your vote early as well. But in-person absentee voting will require you to obtain an absentee ballot, and may require an excuse accepted by your state.
Time Frames for Early Voting and In-Person Absentee Voting
The best place to check your state’s early voting or in-person absentee voting procedures is your state/territorial election office website.
The 2016 general election will be held on Tuesday, November 8, 2016. If you haven’t voted early or by absentee ballot, this is the day to cast your vote for President as well for any federal Congressional seats that are up for a vote in your area. State and local races may be on your ballot too.
The Presidential primaries and caucuses are now over. If you want to see when they were held in your state, check this chartor visit your state election office site. Whether you voted in the primaries or participated in the caucuses has no bearing on your eligibility to vote for President in the general election. It’s not a requirement.
You cast your vote at a polling place or polling station.
- Visit your state/territorial election office to find out where you should go to vote.
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.
Two-thirds of states request or require that you provide some form of identification before you’re allowed to vote at the polls.
Find Out if You Need to Bring an ID to Vote
Your state’s laws, as indicated by this state legislators’ map, 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, such as driver’s licenses, state-issued ID cards, military ID cards, and 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 certain types of non-photo IDs, such as birth certificates, Social Security cards, bank statements, and 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 prior to Election Day.
You should also be aware that legal challenges continue to affect some states’ voter ID laws, and requirements can change as a result. It’s always wise to check directly with your state election office to ensure you have the proper ID.
Procedures for Voting Without ID
Even if you don’t have a form of ID that your state asks for, you may be allowed to vote. But some states require you to take additional 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, which is used when there is a question regarding a voter’s eligibility. In some states, election officials will investigate the voter’s eligibility and decide whether to count the vote.
Other states require that you return to an election office within a few days and show an acceptable form of ID. If you don’t, your vote won’t be counted.
Name or Address Mismatch
Even if you have a form of ID that your state accepts, you may be required to cast a provisional ballot if the name or address on your ID doesn’t match the name or address on your voter registration. This may happen, for example, if:
- You get married, change your last name, update your voter registration but present a driver’s license with your unmarried name.
- You move, present a current utility bill as proof of ID but forget to update your address on your voter registration beforehand.
Additionally, some states require you to notify your local registration office of any change in your name to remain a qualified registered voter.
You can avoid problems by always updating your voter registration whenever you move and if you change your name.
First time voters who didn’t register in person and haven’t previously provided proof of ID are required by federal law to show some form of identification.
Voter Registration Deadlines
Every State is a bit different… you can find your state listed at the link below