Voting is one of the most fundamental rights we as a people in the United States of America have. Though registering to vote may seem like it should come as second nature, some voters simply cannot register before election day or have other road blocks that have halted their ability to register. In these cases, some states do allow for voters to both register and vote on the same day.
States That Have Same Day Voter Registration:
There are 20 states in all, including the District of Columbia, that allow voters to register the same day that they vote.
- Washington State
- Washington D.C.
- New Mexico
- Montana (only during early voting period)
- North Carolina (only during early voting period)
How Same Day Registration Works
Though each state may have its own specific rules, there are some requirements that apply to all the states listed here. The first is that voters must prove that they live in the state that they are registering in. This means that if you live in a state that does not allow for same day voter registration, you cannot simply go to a state that does and register and then vote. In most states, a current and up to date driver’s license is all that you need to prove where you live. In other states, you may be able to bring in things like paychecks or utility bills with addresses clearly printed to suffice. In a few states, you may also be able to bring a currently registered voter to vouch about where you live.
The other thing that you are going to need is voter ID. This means you are going to have to bring some form of official documentation that proves your identity. Some states require that you bring in a photo ID while others will take an issues ID that does not have a photo. It is important that before you do go to try to register the same day you vote, that you do take the time to find out what requirements are in place for your state and for where you are trying to register.
Special Requirements by State
In the state of Colorado voters must provide a copy of their Colorado state driver’s license and are required to sign a self-affirmation affidavit. In California a voter may be required to fill out a non-provisional ballot or a provisional ballot based on their voter status. In Connecticut the voter must swear under oath that they have not voted elsewhere. In D.C. the voter must appear before the Board of the Election’s Office. Hawaii requires the last four digits of your social security number and your current state driver’s license.
In Illinois, you have to provide two forms of identity with one at least that shows your address. In Nevada, a current driver’s license is required as well as requiring the voter to file a provisional ballot until their registration is complete. In the majority of states, someone that is registering the same day to vote is going to file a provisional ballot that states that they have decided to register and vote in. A provisional ballot serves as a flag of sorts so that officials can keep track of the ballot and can later determine if the voter was truly eligible or not and can remove the ballot if there is an issue.