The voter registration deadline is today for several states


CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — The deadline to register to vote in the 2020 presidential election is here for some states, while it has passed for a couple of others.

Monday is the registration deadline in 11 states — Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee and Texas.

“I didn’t want to be responsible for the election carrying on and on by casting a provisional vote, so I wanted to be sure that I was registered and my vote would be counted,” said Lara Hoffmans of Columbus, Ohio.

In Louisiana, Monday is the deadline to register to vote in person or by mail, but residents may still register to vote online until Oct. 13. In South Carolina, voter registration sent by mail must be postmarked with Monday’s date. Sunday was the deadline in register to vote in Alaska and Rhode Island.

Other deadlines are coming up later this week. Tuesday is the deadline in New Mexico, with a Friday deadline in New York and Oklahoma, and Saturday in Delaware.

If you are a U.S. citizen, meet your state’s requirements and will be age 18 by Nov. 3, you are likely eligible to vote in this year’s general election.

Residents in 40 states and the District of Columbia can register to vote online with proof of residency.

Residents in nine states — Arkansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, or Wyoming — must register either in person at their local elections office or with a mailed-in application by their state’s deadline. 

The last day of voting is Nov. 3, and 21 states and D.C. allow voters to register on Election Day with valid proof of residency if they miss the deadline to register by mail or online, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

States that allow Election Day registration require proof of residency and a valid ID.

Be aware that while some states let voters register at their polling places, others require Election Day registration at county elections offices, which are typically not voting sites.

Dr. Paul Fabrizio with McMurry University in Texas say with so many dates, deadlines and ballot options, the process turns some Americans away.

“This is one reason why a lot of younger people in college don’t participate in voting,” Fabrizio said. “Because it gets confusing or they can forget to meet deadlines.”

North Dakota is the only state that has no voter registration and instead requires voters to show ID at the polls to cast a ballot. 

Valid ID is required in 34 states to vote at the polls.

“There are so many people who died for the right for us to be able to vote, so we need to make sure that we exercise that right,” said Tennessee voter Kim Davis.

In Ohio, voter Nicolette Freeman said, “I think it’s important for everyone to cast their vote, to be involved, to weigh the issues and be responsible and accountable.”

In 2016, 61 percent of eligible voters took part in the presidential election. The highest voter turnout coming from Colorado and Minnesota. The lowest — Hawaii and Arkansas. Some states holding registration rallies to ramp up participation and excitement leading up to November. Especially in a year permeated with problems — from COVID concerns to fears of fraudulent mail-in ballots. Fervent voters like Andrew Hubbard say take part anyway.

“People in office affect our daily lives,” said Hubbard. “From our health care, to our education system, to our roadways.”

Another frequently asked question is: what happens if you have missed the registration deadline?

The simplest answer is to check with your state election office. There are about 50 different answers for 50 different states. Some states offer an online extension that you might be eligible for.

The country is just 29 days away from the election.

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