How to Register To Vote (and Why It's Important for the Midterms)
The upcoming midterm elections are kind of a big deal.
Democrats this year need a net gain of 24 seats in order to reclaim the House. Only then could they gain the power to freely investigate the Trump administration, greenlight more left-leaning laws throughout the country, or toss out the president’s endless succession of nominees with questionable credentials.
While on the flipside, if Republicans are able to retain their stronghold on Congress, Fox News might host watch parties for each new Supreme Court justice that’s announced. And of equal importance, if Republicans emerge triumphant in state elections, they could dominate district maps through 2030. Thanks gerrymandering!
So like I said, it’s kind of a big deal. Which is exactly why your vote is so important.
Okay. So How Do I Register to Vote?
First thing's first. In order for your voice to be heard, you gotta register.
North Dakota is the only state without voting registration, ridding itself of this process entirely in 1951. So if you’re fortunate enough to call North Dakota home, all you need is a valid ID and about seven and a half minutes of patience since your voting lines are the shortest in the country. That’s like two and half Migos.
But for the rest of us who are less than blessed, you’ll be required to provide a current address in order to register. Thankfully, there are 38 states and a District of Columbia that are allowed to do this online. Click here to find out if you’re among the chosen few.
If you’re still reading this, that means fate has frowned upon you and you’re still wondering how you’re supposed to register to vote. So if you’re lucky enough to reside in one of the remaining 12 states, you can fill out this form and mail it in, make a pitstop at your friendly neighborhood DMV, reach out to your local or state election board, or crash a voter drive. You’ve got options.
But if you’ve already registered to vote and aren’t quite sure if it’s up to date, you can check your status here or ask your county or state election board.
Is There A Deadline I Should Register By?
Yeah, about that — while there are 13 states (and a District of Columbia) that are kind enough to allow same-day registration (otherwise known as procrastination), the deadline for the rest of them varies. And yes, I've got those for you too.
What Will I Need to Register?
Other than your U.S. citizenship, for first-timers you might want to bring your driver’s license or Social Security card. If not, any other proper ID should get the job done. And no, that doesn’t include your work badge. But if you’ve registered before, you should bring a proper form of ID just in case. Kansas is the only state in the country that requires proof of citizenship prior to registration, so if you and Superman share the same hometown, be mindful of that caveat.
Okay, I Registered to Vote. Now What?
Well exercising your constitutional right to vote would be a wonderful place to start. But the beauty of voting is that much like pizza, there are a myriad of ways to enjoy this experience.
My personal fav is absentee voting, in which I fill out my ballot from the comfort of my couch and mail it in well before Election Day. There’s no lines to endure, no traffic to brave, and I still get my glorious “I Voted” sticker that moonlights as a badge of honor.
But it’s important to note the stipulations on absentee voting differ in each state, so be sure to do your homework before taking the leap. Though voting in person is perfectly fine too, just pump the brakes on taking any selfies.
Okay. So About Those Midterms You Mentioned. . .
Ahhh yes. Those. Now would be an opportune time to prepare accordingly and get the jump on some important upcoming election dates. For a comprehensive list of primaries, broken down by state, poll times, and their respective election dates, click here.