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The midterm elections are upon us. And while early voting in most states has closed, you can still cast your ballot at the polls on election day tomorrow. If you're registered to vote, that is.
Just about every state requires you to be registered to vote before you can cast your ballot, but the deadlines to register can vary from state to state. Worried you won't be able to vote? Here's a look at when you need to register and if it's too late.
Already All Set?
North Dakota is the only state in which you do not have to register to vote. But you do need proper ID and proof of address at the polls. Another 13 states (including California, Colorado, and Illinois) and D.C. have automatic voter registration laws, that allow citizens in those states to be registered or have their existing registration information updated at government agencies like the DMV, unless they affirmatively decline. So it is possible you're already registered to vote -- check with your local election office to be sure.
Online and on Time
Thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia offer online voter registration. (You can also register to vote by mail, by printing a voter registration form, filling it out, and mailing it to your local election office, although that probably won't arrive in time.) But just because it happens on the internet, doesn't mean it happens instantaneously.
Online voter registration has deadlines, and some have already passed. California's online voter registration deadline -- for the midterm elections -- was October 22; Florida's was October 9; Illinois stopped online registration on October 21; New York on October 21. You can look up your state's online voter registration deadline, but chances are, it has already passed.
No Fear, Just Be Here
Almost every state allows you to register to vote in person, on election day. However, each state may have its own requirements when it comes to the kind of identification and proof of residency you must provide in order to register. Make sure you come prepared and get registered, and, most importantly, make sure you vote.
And if you need legal clarification or assistance, and experienced civil rights attorney is only a click or call away.