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.

To see if your state allows Election Day (same day) voter registration, go to the Voting Methods & Options page and find your state in the chart. Make sure to click any help bubbles for further information.

If you’d like to register in advance online, you can do so on the U.S. Vote Foundation’s website. For detailed information on how to register to vote, please see the question “What do I need to do if I’ve never registered before?” under the First Time Voters section of this FAQ.

If you are a first time voter you will need to provide identification before casting your first ballot. 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.

For more information on identification requirements and options, go to the State Voting Requirements directory, input your state, and look under the Identification Requirements tab. You can also go to the Identification section in this FAQ.

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