The time is now! Voting in the presidential election will begin in many states in just a few weeks — as early as Sept. 4 in North Carolina.
Here’s how to make sure you’re ready to vote, and that your vote will count.
Check Your Registration
Make sure that you are registered to vote at your current address. You may not have voted in a while. You may have moved or changed your name. You may have forgotten when you last registered to vote. Calling or visiting your secretary of state’s office or local board of elections may be a good place to start.
You can also visit Vote.org, Rock the Vote, I am a voter or the U.S. Vote Foundation, all nonprofit, nonpartisan websites providing lots of detailed information about voting rights, registration and the process of voting. It took only a few minutes online for me to verify my own registration and voter ID number.
The federal government offers lots of useful voting information, too.
Not Registered? Register Now!
If you’re not registered — whether you have never registered or your registration is out of date — there is still time. September 22 is National Voter Registration Day, when millions of individuals register to vote.
If you’d rather register to vote on paper, download and print a simple form from the federal government, which asks you to provide some personal information, like your name and address. The instructions give state-specific details and provide the mailing address you need to send the form to.
While you’re at it, encourage your friends to register too.
Make A Plan To Vote
Not everyone who is registered to vote actually casts a ballot. You’re more likely to actually vote if you make a plan.
You’ll need to find out when to vote in person and where to do it. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020 — but different cities and towns have different voting hours. Many communities have several polling places, and you need to go to the right one, depending on where you live. Make sure you know where to go.