Basic Voting Information
Who can vote?
Any U.S. citizen who will be 18 or older on Election Day is eligible to vote.
Many states allow voters who are 17 to register as long as they will be 18 by Election Day. Some states restrict the voting rights of felons or former felons. (You can find out where your state stands here.)
What is Voter Registration?
Every state requires voters to register, though the laws governing registration depend on the state. Some states will even let you register at the polls on Election Day! Check out our guide to state voting guide to find out about your state’s rules.
What IDs or information are required to vote?
This is different in every state. Some state require specific kinds of ID, but many states don’t require ANY ID as long as you’re a registered voter who has already voted at your address. Check out our guide to state voting guide to find out about your state’s rules.
NOTE: Be prepared to hear friends say: “I don’t want to register to vote because then I’ll have to do jury duty.” This is not entirely correct. Prospective jurors’ names are selected from a number of different public records, including driver’s licenses, tax filings, and voter rolls.
Can I vote in the town or city I go to college in?
In most states, College students have the right to register in the town where they go to school. It is the same for second home owners, who can register at either their primary or secondary residence. Check out our guide to state voting guide to find out about your state’s rules.
Do I need to register with a party?
This is a personal choice, but you’ll want to make the choice based on your state’s primary rules. In some states anybody, whether or not they belong to a party, can vote in any primary. In others you must be a Democrat to vote in the Democratic primary and vice versa. Check out our guide to state voting guide to find out about your state’s rules.