Voter Registration Deadlines by State

In all states except North Dakota, you must meet the voter registration deadline in 2020 to vote in local, state and national elections.

Each state sets its own deadline for registration. It is usually between 15 and 30 days before Election Day.

If you miss the cut-off date, you will not be able to vote until the next election. That’s why it’s important to know the deadline for your state so you can complete the voter registration process ahead of time.

There are usually a few different voting deadlines, depending on the election and the way you decide to register. For instance, applicants who are living overseas will probably have an earlier deadline than those in the U.S. Also, primary and general elections have different registration deadlines.

Deadlines to Know About

The last day to register to vote will depend on the type of election taking place, along with the way you register. There are two main types of presidential elections:

  • During the primary election, U.S. citizens cast a vote for one party’s candidate. The winner (or winners, depending on the state) from each party will then move on to the general election.
  • During the general election, winners from each political party will go against each other to determine the final winner of the election.

Deadlines to register to vote will vary based on the election and the state.

The way you register will also affect your last date for voter registration. For instance, in Colorado, you can register to vote in person up until Election Day. However, if you’re registering by mail or online, you must do so eight days before the election. In some states, the deadline stays the same across all registration methods.

National Voter Registration Day

National Voter Registration Day is a national holiday that encourages people to register to vote, but it is not the last day you can register.

The holiday happens every year on the fourth Tuesday of September. During this day, volunteers reach out to U.S. citizens and register them to vote. In 2018, over 800,000 citizens completed same-day voter registrations.

How to Register to Vote

There are a few ways to register to vote, depending on your state. Some states allow you to register to vote online or by mail while others require in-person registrations.

However, before you begin the process, you need to make sure you’re eligible to vote. Not everyone living in the U.S. is eligible to vote in local and national elections. You only register to vote if you are a U.S. citizen and:

  • Are at least 18 years of age on or before Election Day.
  • Do not have felony convictions (depending on the state).
  • Have not been declared “mentally incapacitated” (depending on the state).

Once you verify your eligibility, you can get a voter registration card. In some states, the Secretary of State office handles voting applications. In others, it is another state office.

The next step is filling out the voter registration form. You’ll need to give some personal information, including:

  • Your full name.
  • Your date of birth.
  • Your driver’s license or ID number.
  • Your address.
  • Your Social Security Number (SSN).

After completing the form, you can submit it and wait to receive an application approval from your elections office.

Then, you’ll likely receive a voter ID registration card or certificate. In many states, this card is just for your records and is not required when you’re heading to the polls.

Note: If you are currently living overseas or on active duty outside of the U.S., you can still register to vote. You must fill out a national form and turn it into your local election office. If you will still be overseas on Election Day, you need an absentee ballot to make sure your vote is counted in the election.

2019–2020 Voter Registration Deadlines by State

State In Person By Mail  Online
Alabama 15 days before 15 days before 15 days before
Alaska 30 days before 30 days before 30 days before
Arizona 29 days before 29 days before 29 days before
Arkansas 30 days before 30 days before N/A
California 15 days before 15 days before 15 days before
Colorado Election Day 8 days before 8 days before
Connecticut Election Day 7 days before 7 days before
Delaware 24 days before 24 days before 24 days before
District of Columbia Election Day 21 days before 21 days before
Florida 29 days before 29 days before 29 days before
Georgia  29 days before 29 days before 29 days before
Hawaii 29 days before 29 days before 29 days before
Idaho Election Day 25 days before 25 days before
Illinois Election Day 28 days before 16 days before
Indiana 29 days before 29 days before 29 days before
Iowa 10 days before 15 days before 10 days before
Kansas 21 days before 21 days before 21 days before
Kentucky  29 days before 29 days before 29 days before
Louisiana 30 days before 30 days before 20 days before
Maine Election Day 21 days before N/A
Maryland 5 days before 21 days before 21 days before
Massachusetts 20 days before 20 days before 20 days before
Michigan 30 days before 30 days before N/A
Minnesota Election Day 21 days before 21 days before
Mississippi 30 days before 30 days before N/A
Missouri 27 days before 27 days before 27 days before
Montana Election Day 30 days before N/A
Nebraska 11 days before 18 days before 18 days before
Nevada 21 days before 28 days before 19 days before
New Hampshire Election Day 13 days before N/A
New Jersey 21 days before 21 days before N/A
New Mexico 28 days before 28 days before 28 days before
New York  25 days before 25 days before 25 days before
North Carolina 3 days before 25 days before N/A
North Dakota No need to register, just bring ID to polls
Ohio 30 days before 30 days before 30 days before
Oklahoma 25 days before 25 days before N/A
Oregon 21 days before 21 days before 21 days before
Pennsylvania 30 days before 30 days before 30 days before
Rhode Island 30 days before 30 days before 30 days before
South Carolina 30 days before 30 days before 30 days before
South Dakota 15 days before 15 days before N/A
Tennessee 30 days before 30 days before 30 days before
Texas 30 days before 30 days before N/A
Utah Election Day 30 days before 7 days before
Vermont Election Day Election Day Election Day
Virginia 22 days before 22 days before 22 days before
Washington Election  Day 8 days before 8 days before
West Virginia 21 days before 21 days before 21 days before
Wisconsin Election Day 20 days before 20 days before
Wyoming Election Day 14 days before N/A

 

Note: For by-mail deadlines, the application must be postmarked by the deadline date.