Want to Vote? Update Your Voter Registration

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on May 03, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Have you moved since the last time you voted? In fact, when was the last time you even voted? If you can't answer either of these questions, or answered the first one affirmatively, it's probably time to update your voter registration.

Well, that is if you want to vote in the next election.

Voter registration laws generally require residents to vote in their precinct and at a specified polling location. If your voting information isn't up to date, you might be turned away.

When do you need to update your voter registration?

You'll need to re-register to vote or update your information with the state if you've changed your address or name. If your signature has morphed, as they often do as we get older, your state may also require you to send in a new copy.

As for the timeframe for updating your voting information, it, too, depends on the state. Some require updates to be submitted months before the next election, while others only require 30 days.

What if you don't update your voter registration?

Put simply, you may not be allowed to vote. Poll registries and voting cards include your last known address and name. If your current I.D. doesn't match, you can be turned away.

Some jurisdictions may instead ask you to fill out a provisional ballot. You'll then have a certain number of days to present authenticating documentation to local election officials. If you don't, your vote won't count.

How do you update your voter registration?

Call local elections officials or head to the board of election's official website. You should be able to print out a form and send it in. Yes, it's really that easy to update your voter registration.

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