Former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis once spoke of the importance of everyday Americans. He said: “The most important office — and the one which all of us can and should fill — is that of private citizen.” Being a voter is powerful because a person’s ballot can determine the future.
At a minimum, they are called to duty twice every two years to cast ballots. The 2022 midterm election polling stations will be open on November 8, so it is time to either register to vote or review current voter registration. Deadlines vary from state to state, “with most falling between eight and 30 days before the election,” according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).
Vote.org offers an interactive list of states’ election information. Here voters can check their registration, register, vote by mail (if available), and set election reminders.
Below is a list of the states and Washington D.C.’s closing dates for in-person voter registration:
- October 9: Alaska, Louisiana, Mississippi, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, and Texas
- October 10: Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, and Florida
- October 11: Kentucky
- October 12: Illinois and Missouri
- October 14: North Carolina and Oklahoma
- October 15: Delaware
- October 17: Virginia
- October 18: District of Columbia, Kansas, Maryland, New Jersey, Oregon, and West Virginia
- October 19: Massachusetts
- October 24: Alabama, New York, Pennsylvania, and South Dakota
- November 1: Connecticut
Election Day Voter Registration
Several states allow people to complete their voter registration and cast their ballot on the same day as the election: California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
In addition to taking an oath or signing an affidavit in some states, there are two main requirements a voter must fulfill for same-day registration (SDR).
The first is proof of residency. “A current driver’s license or ID card will suffice in all states. In some states, documents such as a paycheck or utility bill with an address is acceptable for proving residence. A few states also permit an already-registered voter to vouch for the residency of an Election Day registrant,” according to SCNL.
The second is identification. “All of the SDR states also require that voters who register and vote on election day present documentation to verify their identity.” SCNL continued, “Some states require a photo ID; others accept IDs without a photo.”
NOTE: The information about deadlines may have changed with new state laws. To double-check for new voting legislation and find non-biased information about Congressional, state, and local elections, go to the USA.gov website. The site also has several voter-education sections such as “Decide Who to Vote For,” Voting and Election and History,” and the “Presidential Election Process.”
An educated voter is an enthusiastic voter. They know that casting their ballot is not only their right, but it is their responsibility. Voting is a privilege — Exercise that privilege.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
Brennan Center: Voting Laws Roundup: May 2022
Vote.org: Voter Registration Deadlines
USA.gov: Voting and Elections
270toWin: 2022 House Election Interactive Map
270toWin: Polling Update: September 27
NCSL: Same Day Voter Registration
Featured and Top Image by Aaron Burden on Unsplash
Inset Image Courtesy of Cathy Milne-Ware’s Flickr Page – Public Domain License
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