How To Check Your Voter Registration

Posted on: 7 July 2016

In recent years, a number of issues have arisen when it comes to voter registration, including a heated debate over ID laws. Of course, properly registering is not enough. Often, people believe they are ready to vote when they are not. Other times, they simply don't know where to vote. Now that election season is here, you need to check to make certain your registration is up-to-date and you know where to head on election day.

Update Information

Although registration requirements vary state by state, they all require that you update your information in certain circumstances. For instance, if you have moved and your address does not match the information on your voter's ID or the rolls at the polling place, you may not be allowed to vote. Also, if your name has changed, you need to update that information as well. The best way to ascertain how and where to take care of this issue is to visit your state's website. Remember, if you have moved out of state, you have to completely re-register. Being allowed to vote in California does not transfer automatically to Illinois. 

Find Your Polling Place

Voters sometimes do not realize that they have a new polling place, either because they have moved or the polling place has. As a result, they dash in before work to cast their vote and are denied. You cannot vote at just any polling place in your town or city. When people discover their mistake, they may simply not vote due to time constraints or even simple frustration. Before you vote, check to make certain you know where to go. You can also perform this act online, or, if you prefer, call your local circuit clerk and reaffirm the location. Double-checking only takes a few minutes and helps ensure that your vote is cast and counted. 

Absentee Ballots

If you will be out of town or simply have difficulty getting to the polls, you may be able to use an absentee ballot. You will need to explore the process in your particular locale, but absentee voting and early voting are reasonable options for many people and make voting easier.

You hear about many complex voting issues every election cycle, but by worrying about the big picture, you may overlook the simple mechanics of voting in your district. To avoid problems with casting your vote, take a few minutes to confirm that your registration if correct and up-to-date. You should also read up on the candidates, such as Katharine Hamilton.