Make a difference

With Election Day quickly approaching, it’s important to get registered now. Follow these guidelines and start making a difference.

Deadline to register
Each state has a different deadline for voter registration, but in many states you need to register at least 20 days before heading to the voting booth. See Page 63 for your state’s elections office phone number and web addresses. If your deadline is looming or you’re out of time, don’t give up. Go ahead and register now so you will be ready for the next election.

Rules for registering
For most states, you can register to vote in person or via mail. Depending on your state, you may be able to print your registration form from a website or pick one up in person from the DMV, local board of elections office, post office, library or other locations designated by state officials.

A growing number of states use the Internet to simplify the voter registration process.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 20 states – Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New York, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia and Washington – offer online paperless registration. Five more states – Hawaii, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Mexico and West Virginia – have adopted rules allowing people to register online but haven’t yet implemented the process.

Who can vote?
As long as you’re 18 or older, an American citizen, and a resident of the state where you’re planning to register, you have an equal chance to decide who you want to run your country, your state, your region and your town.

Where to vote
After you’ve sent in your registration form, your state will mail out details about your polling place. Some states will send a voter registration ID card, which you may be required to show at the polls. Other states require a photo ID when voting.

Many states offer advance voting, voting by mail and absentee voting – making it possible for truckers to make their voices heard no matter where they happen to be on Election Day. LL