Elections matter. From school superintendent to sheriff to senator to president, our elected officials determine the quality and equality of our law enforcement, public education systems, and so much more. But our representatives can hardly be representative of our communities or receptive to our needs if we do not do our civic duty. You’ve got one vote. Use it.
How do I register to vote?
Eligible citizens who are 18 years of age or older may register to vote. Every state except North Dakota has a voter registration requirement for voting.
How do I find my polling place?
Once you are registered to vote, you can vote at your local polling place on Election Day. Your polling place should be listed on the sample ballot you receive in the mail once you are registered to vote. You can also call your local county elections elections office or look it up online at www.vote.org/polling-place-locator/
Does my vote really make a difference?
YES! Voting is a civic privilege and democratic duty, and we must all exercise our right to vote. Presidential elections may receive the most attention and funding, but every election matters and influences the wellbeing of our communities.
Several 2016 elections indicate how very much impact a single vote can make: Dave Adkins recaptured his spot in the New Hampshire House of Representatives by two votes, and David Ainsworth won his seat in the Vermont House of Representatives by one single ballot. The list continues, but the message stays the same: each vote counts and each election matters.
What kind of efforts are being made to make voter registration easier?
Voting rights advocates have made significant progress in expanding systems that make registration more efficient and more accessible to more Americans. These methods include same-day voter registration, electronic registration, and automatic voter registration.
States with Same-Day Voter Registration
Fifteen states and the District of Columbia currently offer same-day voter registration. In Hawaii, implementation is scheduled for 2018. North Carolina and Maryland’s same-day voter registration provision only applies to a portion of the early voting period – not Election Day.
States with Electronic Voter Registration
Thirty-five states and the District of Columbia offer online registration, saving voters and elections officials time and paper. Learn how to register online here.
States with Automatic Voter Registration
Ten states and the District of Columbia have authorized automatic voter registration, and thirty-two states are considering automatic registration bills in 2017.
States in gold have already authorized automatic registration; states in light yellow are those that have introduced automatic registration proposals in 2017.
Data compiled from the National Conference on State Legislatures and the Brennan Center for Justice.
What should I do if I face obstruction on Election Day?
Obstruction voters may face on Election Day includes: polls opening late or closing early, a lack of ballots, or having one’s identity, identification, or voter registration status improperly challenged. If you face any obstruction or attempt at obstruction on Election Day, you should report the problem directly to the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.
What is the NAACP doing to combat voter suppression and discriminatory voting laws?
While President Trump launches an illusory pursuit of widespread “voter fraud,” the NAACP is in courts across the country, combatting all manners of voter suppression. Here are updates on some of our most recent cases:
- NAACP Wins Two Critical Cases for Voting Rights in Louisiana and Texas
- NAACP Files Lawsuit Against Indiana for Unlawful Voter Purges
- NAACP Files Against Indiana for Voting Rights Violation