IMPORTANT UPDATE: We understand that you may be hesitant to vote in person right now. If there is an upcoming primary or other election where you live, Science Rising encourages you to vote in person only if you can do so safely and in accordance with the guidance of experts at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). For information on how you can vote by mail or by absentee ballot, you can learn more here: Make a Plan: Know How to Vote by Mail or Absentee Ballot.
Elections matter. So does your vote. But you can’t cast a ballot if you’re not registered.
Step one of democracy—and a prerequisite for participating in the Science Rising Challenge—is ensuring that you are registered to vote if you can.
Let’s boost the science vote in 2020! The resources below make it easy.
4 reasons why you need to register (or re-register) to vote
- You have never registered before. Now is a great time to start! Skip down to “How do I Register?”
- You have moved. If you have a new residence, you need to update your voter registration or re-register. If you‘re a student, you may be considering registering where you go to school—skip down to the last section.
- You’ve changed your name. If you’ve legally changed your name, you’ll need to re-register.
- You’ve changed political parties. If you’re planning on voting in a primary, your state may require you to choose a party affiliation in order to vote in that party’s primary. Some states don’t allow those who are registered as independents to vote in either primary, so be sure to check!
In order to vote, you must be a citizen who is eighteen years or older. If you have lost your right to vote due to felony convictions, check this map for your state’s felony disenfranchisement laws, and visit your Secretary of State’s website to learn how to get your voting rights restored.
Not eligible to vote? No worries! There are many ways you can participate in our democracy, including helping friends and family register and make a plan to vote. And rest assured that you are still fully eligible to take part in the Science Rising Challenge!
Not sure if you’re already registered to vote?
Take 30 seconds and check using this simple form from Vote.org. Note that the name and information you enter must exactly match your existing voter registration information.
Need to register? Three things to think about
- Where do you want to register? If you’re still in school, you can choose between voting at your home address or your school address (see section below).
- You may need to decide which political party you would like to join. You can identify as an independent or with another party that aligns with your values, but keep in mind that some states require you to choose Republican or Democrat if you want to vote in either of those primaries.
- Lastly, have either your driver’s license or state ID number ready. If you don’t have either of those for the state you’re registering in, the last four digits of your social security number is usually sufficient.
How do I register to vote?
Do you live in one of the 37 states that provides online voter registration? Take two minutes and use the form below to register. Some states require a state ID from that state in order to register online.
Do you live in one of the 13 states that require you to register in person or by mail? Click on your state to learn more about how to register:
- Arkansas, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Wyoming.
- Live in North Dakota? North Dakota is the only state that doesn’t require voter registration. You’ll need to bring an approved ID and proof of residency.
I’m a student at an out-of-state college or university. Where should I register?
Are you unsure where you should register to vote, especially if you are an out-of-state student? Should you register to vote in your home state or where you attend school?
The choice is yours to make—you may register at your campus address or your home address—but remember that you can only be registered to vote in ONE state.
Be aware that where you are registered to vote has implications for the type of identification you’ll need on Election Day and may affect whether you need to change your driver’s license and vehicle registration. It should not affect federal financial aid or your school tuition status.
To learn more, check out this great state-by-state resource from the Campus Vote Project.
I’m not yet 18 but will be soon! How can I register?
You can pledge to register using this simple form from Vote.org. You will receive a text on your 18th birthday with resources to help you register to vote!