Voter Help Desk
What do I need to know if I've never voted before?

If you have never voted before and meet the eligibility requirements you must register in order to vote. The exception is North Dakota, which has no registration requirement.  Most states require you to register in advance of the election. Several states, however, allow you to register and vote on the same day.

If you are a first time voter you will need to provide identification before casting your first ballot. The identification required varies from state to state. You may be required to accompany your registration form with a copy of a:

  • current valid photo identification
  • current utility bill
  • bank statement
  • paycheck
  • government check
  • document that shows your name and address

You may be required to send this verification with your registration form or show it to an election official. A few states require first time voters to bring additional identification with them to the polls. A few also require that you vote in-person the first time, and not vote by absentee ballot.

Go to Register to Vote / Absentee Ballot. Choose the Type of Voting Form that applies to you and complete the registration process by filling out the information in each step. At the end, print and send your registration form to your local election official.

If you want more information about your local elections policies go to the Election Official Directory. Choose your state and region to find the contact information of your local election official or click on the link to the Local Elections Website. 

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