Registering to vote, check your state laws!

It doesn’t matter if someone is voting for John Kerry, George Bush, Ralph Nader or Bozo the Clown, if you want to vote and aren’t registered, I’d HIGHLY recommend checking your state laws to see what you need to do. If I hadn’t, I might have been in real trouble come Nov. 2.

I moved last year and hadn’t gotten around to changing my address on my state ID (I don’t drive so I don’t have a driver’s license). I was downtown Friday and decided to get it taken care of. I found out that if I had waited 27 days or less before the election I wouldn’t have been able to vote!

Whew! I wasn’t worried at all and it never crossed my mind that I could have been shut out. I could easily have waited until mid-October to do this. THANK GOODNESS I DIDN’T WAIT!

This might be a good place to collect a list of deadlines for each state. I was thinking of posting a thread like this earlier this evening. So…

[ul][li]Alabama: October 22[/li][li]Alaska: October 4[/li][li]Arizona: October 4[/li][li]Arkansas: October 4[/li][li]California: October 4[/li][li]Colorado: October 4[/li][li]Connecticut: October 19[/li][li]Delaware: October 4[/li][li]District of Columbia: October 12[/li][li]Florida: October 4§[/li][li]Georgia: October 4[/li][li]Hawaii: October 4[/li][li]Idaho: October 8[/li][li]Illinois: October 5[/li][li]Indiana: October 4[/li][li]Iowa: October 22[/li][li]Kansas: October 18[/li][li]Kentucky: October 5[/li][li]Louisiana: October 8[/li][li]Maine: October 18 by mail, in-person at any time including Election Day[/li][li]Maryland: October 4[/li][li]Massachusetts: October 12[/li][li]Michigan: October 4[/li][li]Minnesota: October 11 by mail or in-person at polling places on Election Day (contact local registrar for information)[/li][li]Mississippi: October 4[/li][li]Missouri: October 5[/li][li]Montana: October 4[/li][li]Nebraska: October 15[/li][li]Nevada: October 4[/li][li]New Hampshire: October 22[/li][li]New Jersey: October 4[/li][li]New Mexico: October 5[/li][li]New York: October 8[/li][li]North Carolina: October 8[/li][li]North Dakota: Has no voter registration – contact your local bureau of elections for information[/li][li]Ohio: October 4[/li][li]Oklahoma: October 8[/li][li]Oregon; October 11[/li][li]Pennsylvania: October 4[/li][li]Rhode Island: October 4[/li][li]South Carolina: October 4[/li][li]South Dakota: October 18[/li][li]Tennessee: October 4[/li][li]Texas: October 4[/li][li]Utah: October 12[/li][li]Vermont: October 23 (registrations must be received by town registrar no later than 12 noon)[/li][li]Virginia: October 4[/li][li]Washington: October 4 by mail / October 18 if delivered in person to local registrar’s office[/li][li]West Virginia: October 4[/li][li]Wisconsin: Where registration is required, October 20 by mail / November 1 at local registrar’s office or at the polling place on Election Day – contact your local registrar for more information[/li][li]Wyoming: October 4[/ul][/li]
The lists of deadlines available online tend to say “30 days before election” or “18 days before the election” (as the laws are written) so they can be used from year to year without updates, so these specific dates have been calculated simply by counting backwards on my calendar. If you’re close to the deadline in your state, please[ double check with your local registrar to ensure that you won’t be turned away from the polls.

§ – Due to ongoing disputes over voter registration and proper tallying of electronic ballots, Florida residents have been advised to register as soon as possible and, if in a district which uses electronic voting machines, to vote via absentee ballot.

That’s a great list, thank you TeaElle!

Thanks, TeaElle. I’m waiting to hear if I got this job out of state, knowing that if I do, I’d need to check the registration requirements to figure out of I’d have time to register there, or whether I’d need to get an absentee ballot from my current state - because one way or the other, I will vote.

Looks like, if I do get this job, I’ll still have time to register. Which is nice, because Tennessee absentee ballots are a pain (or were, back when I did one in college - had to be notarized).

[li]Florida: October 4§[/li][/QUOTE]

:eek: October 4 squiggle? October 4 squiggle!!!???
How’s a body supposed to register by 4 squiggle?
Leave it to Florida to make things difficult for voters again!!!

The squiggle is just meant to call your attention to the footnote! :eek:


Yeah,I just sent in my registration info on-line. I wasn’t aware that any Calfornia voter can vote by absentee ballot until I Googled for on-line registration in my area. (I haven’t voted for so long that there’s a lot of stuff I wasn’t aware of.)

But THIS election has driven me out of hiding. If the wannabe Caesar wins,I have to at least be able to say,“Don’t blame me,I didn’t vote for the SOB.”

You might also want to check length of residency requirements. I know when I moved to Colorado years ago I had to live there for thirty days before I could register, so that would come into play for the deadlines, too.

Finally, take care to be careful with what party you register with.

In California, there is a long tradition of people accidentially registering in the American Independent Party (our state’s Constitutional Party affiliate) because they thought that they were registering as Independents (to do that, you register- as I do- as a “declines-to-state”).

I initiially read it as “October 45” in bienville’s quote box. :eek:

Sorta like the second Tuesday of next week. Or “the first Tuesday after the seventh Monday of October” if you want to phrase it in terms of the election laws.

Please, everyone in Florida needs to register, I got my card last week and can hardly wait to cast my vote.

I was able to register at my library, very easily, they took the form and sent it to the right place for me too.

I’ve googled and sent emails with no luck, no better place than the SDMB to ask.

I never registered to vote nor voted when I lived stateside. Am I SOL or is there a way I can register then vote via absentee ballot? The consulate just kept repeating that I had to contact the registrar of the state I was last registered…

You should check and see if your district is using electronic voting. I know they’re being used in many places in Florida. They’re easily hackable, and leave ZERO paper trails. You’d have no idea if the person you voted for is the person the vote was counted for, and there’s no way to recount votes if there are questions later.

Check out

If you find out your district is using electronic voting, please complain. Some people are recommending absentee ballots as an alternative to electronic voting, but that doesn’t sound any more secure. Absentee ballots can be easily “lost.”

Up to 30% of votes in this country will be cast by electronic voting in the presidential election. That’s scary to me.

chattywine, I don’t know your political stripe, but I do know there’s an organization called “Democrats Abroad” that has voting information. I would imagine the Republicans have a similar group.