Registering to Vote FAQ’s
Is it too late to Register to Vote?
Voter registration deadlines vary by state. Check out our Election Center for information for the voter registration deadlines in your state.
I may already be registered but I don't know. How do I know if i'm registered to vote?
You can check your voter registration status directly with your state or by using our voter registration lookup tool.
Can you register to vote online?
Most states offer online voter registration. Rock the Vote’s online registration platform will guide you through the process for your state. Depending on your state’s policies, the platform will let you know if you can complete your registration entirely online or it will ask for information and email you a prefilled pdf of the national voter registration form to print, sign and mail to your local election official. You may also request to have the prefilled form mailed to you if you do not have access to a printer.
When I completed my online voter registration through Rock the Vote, I realized a piece of my personal information (email, phone, address, etc.) was incorrect. What should I do?
Not to worry. You can make changes depending on how you completed your registration.
If you completed a paper registration form with Rock the Vote and were emailed or mailed a PDF, please note that your form is not processed until you have printed, signed, and mailed it in. You will need to complete the form online again — make sure you review all the information before you submit so that you do not have to correct anything again.
If you completed your registration online with Rock the Vote in Michigan, Pennsylvania or Washington and were notified that your registration was processed immediately, you can submit another registration to change your information or contact your state or county official.
If you were prompted to finish your registration by using your state’s online portal, your state should send you a confirmation email afterwards. Review this to make sure your information is accurate. If it is not, reach out to your local election official to clarify if you need to fill out a new registration form or make edits another way.
Can I put a P.O. Box address as my permanent address?
No. Your form will not be processed if you put a P.O. Box as your “street” or “residential” address (your state may call it different things). For districting purposes, you must put a physical address. There is a section of the form to put your mailing address, in addition to your physical address, and you can add your P.O Box there.
Can I put a campus address as my permanent address?
You should register to vote at the place you consider your home. If you consider your on-campus residence to be your permanent home, you can put that as your street address, and that will determine where you will vote. However, since residency laws differ from state to state, be sure to check with the Campus Vote Project for more information on what your state allows.
I just moved to a new state yesterday. Can I register to vote in that state right now?
Residency rules vary by state. In some states, you may be eligible to register to vote in your new state immediately upon moving. In others, you may need to wait a certain number of days or be living in the state for a certain amount of days before you register to vote in the next election. A state cannot require you to live there for more than 30 days to register to vote. Check out our Election Center for information on your state.
I am in the armed forces. How do I register to vote?
You can register to vote and request a ballot through Rock the Vote.
I live abroad. How do I register to vote?
You should contact the Federal Voting Assistance Program. The website is http://www.fvap.gov. They specialize in getting people in the armed forces and people living abroad registered to vote. The rules for people in the armed forces or abroad are different than for people living in the United States. The FVAP can also be reached by phone at (800) 438-VOTE.
I am a student. Can I register to vote at my school address?
YES! You have the right to register to vote at your school address – this includes a dorm room. Any student living in a dorm is entitled to the same rights as any other student. To imply otherwise is illegal. If you receive mail in a Post Office box you can sign an affidavit (or, in some cases, get a letter from your college’s Residential Life office) asserting that you live at your dorm address. For more info, check out our Election Center.
I know someone who's mentally impaired/disabled. Can they vote?
In most states, if a person has been declared “non-compos mentis,” or “mentally incompetent” by a court of law, that person is ineligible to vote. For more information on how your state defines this, get the information to contact your state.
I am a voter with a disability. Will my polling place be accessible and what options do I have to cast a ballot?
Every voter has the right to cast a private and independent ballot, including voters with disabilities. If you want to learn more about your voting rights or if you were denied the right to vote because of your disability, you can find your state’s National Disability Rights Network member agency here. Additional resources for voters with disabilities can be found through the U.S. Election Assistance Commission and Nonprofit VOTE.
I was previously convicted of a felony. Can I register to vote?
If you were convicted of a felony, your voting rights may vary from state to state. Learn more from Restore Your Vote.
Do I need to re-register if I've moved?
Yes, if you have changed your address or changed your name, you must re-register. Voter registration policies and processes vary by state. Check out Rock the Vote’s Election Center for more information about registering to vote in your state.
Do I need to be a U.S. citizen to register to vote?
Yes. You must be a naturally born or fully naturalized U.S. citizen to register to vote.
Do I need to be 18 to register to vote?
The voter registration age requirement varies by state, but most states allow individuals who will be 18 by the next election to register to vote. Some states have a minimum age requirement to register to vote (for example you may have to be 17 ½ years of age). Check out our Election Center for the voter registration eligibility requirements in your state.
When is the last day to register to vote?
Voter Registration postmark deadlines vary from 30 days out to just a couple of days before the elections. Several states offer same-day registration where you can register and vote on the same day, but this should be used as a last resort. Check out our Election Center for voter registration in your state.
Can I register and vote if I don’t have a home address or am experiencing homelessness?
Yes! You do not need to have a fixed address to vote, but you will need to provide an address when you register to vote – this is used to assign your voting districts and to send any election mail. Registrants experiencing homelessness can list a shelter address, or can include the address where they sleep most often, like a street corner or park address. Learn more about voting and homelessness from Nonprofit Vote.
Updating my info with Rock the Vote
How do I unsubscribe from emails and text messages from Rock the Vote?
After filling out an online voter registration form, you will receive – at most –three automated reminders to complete and submit your registration. After that, you will also be automatically enrolled in Rock the Vote’s Election Reminders Program, which helps voters stay informed on all the key deadlines and rules specific for every state primary and general election, in addition to select local elections. You can also sign up to receive other Rock the Vote emails, which include organizational updates and opportunities to take action. If you check the box to sign up for emails and no longer want to receive them, we can remove you from the list manually or you can click unsubscribe at the bottom of the next email we send. To unsubscribe from our text messages, text STOP to RTVOTE.
How do I update my email address with Rock the Vote?
Rock the Vote can update your email address manually if you reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also sign up with us again using your new address at http://www.rockthevote.com/join.
What is a voter card?
After you register to vote, most states send out a “voter card” to let you know your registration has gone through. The voter card is not necessary to vote, but it helps you to confirm you’re registered to vote and that your information is correct. Most also contain information about where you will go to vote on Election Day.
What does a voter card look like?
Voter cards vary from state to state but generally, they’re small cards that look like a postcard.
Does a voter card serve as a form of identification for voting?
Some states accept a voter card as a form of ID, but Voter ID laws vary by state. If you are a first-time voter who mailed in your registration form or a voter who lives in a state that requires Voter ID, you should check out our Election Center to find out what identification you will need at the polls.
Why should I hold onto my voter card?
A voter card lets you verify that your voter registration information is correct, such as your name, address, and birthdate. It also has the address for your polling place, which is where you would cast a ballot if you decided to vote on Election Day.
What if my info on the card is wrong?
The card should have information on how to change any incorrect information (such as the wrong apartment number or that your name is misspelled). If for some reason there are no instructions, contact your local election administrator.
Do I need my voter card to vote?
No. Voter cards let you know that you have successfully registered to vote. They contain information for where you will vote on Election Day and a phone number for your state if you have any questions. Voter Cards are NOT required to vote. Check out our Election Center for additional information about what you must bring with you to the polls on Election Day.
I lost my voter card. How can I get another one?
You should be able to call your state and request a new voter card. Not all states send out voter cards.
I don't know if I ever received a voter card (or I lost mine). What should I do?
Call your state to make sure you completed your voter registration form correctly and that they have you listed as a registered voter. If you’re registering right before the voter registration deadline, chances are you won’t receive the card in time for the election. You do not need this card to vote but you do need to know if you’re registered and where your voting location is. Call your local election administrator with any questions.
How long does it take to get my voter card in the mail?
It usually takes 6-8 weeks for the state to send out your voter card. If 8 weeks have passed and you haven’t received your card, you should call your state or use Rock the Vote’s registration lookup tool to make sure your registration went through properly. If you register to vote with fewer than 8 weeks to the election, you may not receive your card in time.
Voting Early / Absentee
Where do I vote early?
Check out Rock the Vote’s early voting lookup tool for information on whether or not your state has early in-person voting options, and where you can vote early if it does.
Can you change your vote if you voted early?
A few states allow you to do this. Please check with your local elections office to determine the rules in your state.
I won't be around on Election Day. How do I obtain an absentee ballot?
Most states require you to request an absentee ballot if you need one, and some states will automatically mail you one. You must be registered to vote to request an absentee ballot, and the requirements for requesting one vary from state to state. Visit our Election Center to find your state’s absentee ballot information, and request yours with Rock the Vote.
I won't be around on Election Day. How can I get an absentee ballot?
You must be registered to vote to request an absentee ballot. The requirements for requesting an absentee ballot vary from state to state. Click here to find your state’s absentee ballot information.
Voting on Election Day
Where can I learn who's running for office, research issues, and check to see my state's voting laws?
To learn more about the election process and who is running for office check out Rock the Vote’s Election Center.
On Election Day, if I think my rights have been violated, what should I do?
Call (866) OUR-VOTE if you feel your rights have been violated. There will be lawyers on hand to answer Election Day questions and concerns about voting procedures.
Am I required to vote for everything on the ballot?
No! You don’t have to answer everything. If you’re not sure what is on the ballot, here are some great resources you can use.
What if I go to the polls and they tell me I am not registered to vote?
First, make sure you are at the right polling place and check our Election Center to see if your state offers same-day registration so you can register on site and vote at the same time. If you are at the wrong polling place they will not have your name on the list of voters. If you are at the correct location and are not on the list, you can still cast a ballot. Ask the poll worker for a provisional ballot. After the polls close on Election Day the state will check on the status of your voter registration and if there was a mistake made. The state must notify you as to whether your ballot was counted. If you have a problem voting and think your rights have been denied, call (866) OUR- VOTE. There will be lawyers there to help.
Do I need to show identification to vote?
Most states require some form of identification either when you register and/or when you vote. The rules vary state by state. Check out your state rules at our Election Center.
Where do I vote on Election Day?
Visit our Election Center to find out where and during what hours you may vote on Election Day. Polling places are usually within walking distance of your home (unless you are in a very rural area). A polling place can be in a business, a person’s house, a school, or a community center, to name a few establishments.