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Voter Registration Roundup: Top 5 Legal Issues

By Christopher Coble, Esq. | Last updated on

If you plan to vote (and you should), then you need to keep an eye one deadlines for online and mail-in registration, which vary by state. Some states do allow residents who miss the deadline to register and cast ballots during early voting or on Election Day, but it's best make sure you're registered ASAP. You can visit for more information about where and when to vote.

Here are the top five legal issues related to voter registration:

1. Want to Vote? Update Your Voter Registration

Your first step should be to verify whether you are already registered to vote and where. You may need to update your registration if you've moved or changed your name. Check with your local election board for details and deadlines on updating a current registration.

2. Can You Lose Your Voting Rights If You Don't Vote?

Another good reason to verify your voter registration is that some states may purge voters from their rolls if they haven't voted in a long time. So, if you registered to vote a long time ago and have skipped the past few elections, you may need to re-register to vote.

3. Away at College? How and Where Do You Vote?

Are you registered in your home state? Are you allowed to vote in the state of your school? Do you have to vote in person? Here's the information you need for eligibility and registration issues.

4. How to Get an Absentee Ballot

Whether away at college, on a business trip, or a vacation, you may need to obtain an absentee ballot to vote in your home state. And to get one of those, you'll need to be registered, obviously. Here's how to make sure you can cast your ballot in November, no matter where you may be.

5. Voter Registration Around the Nation: California vs. Alabama

As we noted above, voter registration laws can vary significantly from state to state. While some states automatically register voters when they obtain a state driver's license, others make registration much more difficult. Learn about the statutes in your state.

If you have more questions, or believe your voting rights are being violated, contact an experienced civil rights attorney in your state.

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