7 Questions About Voter Registration You Were Too Afraid to Ask

Registering without a license, what do to if you’re at college, and whether your vote actually matters (it does).

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Welp, the primary elections are in full swing, and the general election isn’t far behind (Tuesday, November 5, 2024). Voting in these elections is super important! And super exciting! Aaaand sometimes super confusing. But no worries -- we’ve got you! Below we answer seven of the most common questions about voting and voter registration. Let's Do This!

1. Does my vote actually matter?

Yep, it definitely does! There are countless elections that have been decided by only a few votes. For example, a 2017 Virginia state election was tied, so the winner was selected by drawing names out of a bowl. Literally.

Races all over the country are being decided by young voters. They’ve already proven to be pivotal in the Iowa caucuses of 2020, where young people made up nearly a quarter of all caucus-goers. The New Hampshire primary ended in a very narrow victory, and young voters had a decisive impact on the results.

One vote matters. Your vote matters. And together, our votes have the collective power to decide the future of the country we want to see.

2. Am I registered to vote?

We don’t know, but we can definitely help you find out! Use this resource to find out if you’re registered, change your address, and more. Oh! And if you re-register at your current address, there’s no penalty. Registering just takes 2 minutes, and you can do it online! Plus, better safe than sorry, right?

3. I’m not 18, but I will be by Election Day (Tuesday, November 5, 2024). Can I still register to vote?

It depends on your state. In most states, YES. In all but a few states, you can register to vote if you're younger than 18, as long as you’ll be 18 by Election Day. In others, you may need to be a certain age to register even if you'll be 18 by Election Day.

In the following states, you can register starting these many days/months before your 18th birthday:

  • Alaska: 90 days
  • Georgia: 6 months
  • Iowa: 6 months
  • Missouri: 6 months
  • Texas: 2 months

If you qualify under these rules, register now -- it just takes 2 minutes! If you’re not sure, you can check your state’s rules. And if you can’t vote this year, you can help your friends get registered.

Some states even let 17-year-olds vote in primary elections if they'll be 18 by the general election -- see if you qualify here.

4. Can I register to vote if I don’t have a driver’s license?

Yes! You can register to vote using a driver’s license number or another non-driver ID number (for example, a state ID card). If you don’t have a driver’s license or haven’t been issued a non-driver state ID card, states will allow you to register using the last four digits of your social security number (SSN).

(The only exceptions are in the following states, where you should provide your full SSN: Hawaii, Kentucky, New Mexico, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.)

5. When are my elections?

The next presidential election is on November 5, 2024. There are also hundreds of local elections in each state. Use this resource from Rock the Vote to find the dates of your elections (and just as important, the deadlines to register to vote).

6. How do I vote if I’m at college in a different state?

You can register to vote for your home state or the state where you go to college -- but not both!

If you’re registering to vote in the state where you attend college and you live in a dorm, you must put your physical dorm address on the form, and a PO box doesn’t count. (There’s a separate section on the form for you to include your mailing address, in case that’s different from your dorm address.)

If you’re registering to vote in your home state, be prepared to travel home to cast your ballot or mail in an absentee ballot. Learn more about early and absentee voting here.

7. If I register to vote, will I be signed up for jury duty?

It depends -- some states use voter registration lists to call jurors, and others don’t.

Keep in mind: if you drive a car or pay taxes, you’re already on a list to be summoned for jury duty. Don’t give up your right to vote to avoid a day at court!

Register to vote!

It just takes 2 minutes.


Make a difference in your community and add your vision to the future of our democracy