Cities and Towns in the United States > Procedures > Learn About the US Voter Registration and Voting System


Voter Registration in the USA

Voting has not been compulsory since 1993 so there is no penalty for not voting. However, voting remains a civic obligation under the Constitution. This right has undergone many changes over the centuries to be defined as we know it today.

In the 18th century, only white men of legal age who were landowners, and Protestants could vote. In 1869, this right was extended to people of different colors, races, and religions. In 1920, women were granted the right to vote nationwide.

Continue reading to find out how can you register for voting and take part in the next electoral process!

Learn about voter registration and the voting system in the U.S.

Who can vote?

To vote in the US, you must meet the following criteria:

  • • Be an American Citizen
  • • Be at least 18 years old on the election day
  • • You need to register before your state’s deadline
  • • Meet any other requirement dictated by your State of residence

How to register as a voter

If you wish to vote, you must register first. You can choose where to carry out this formality among the places listed below:

However, each state sets its own rules for voting and elections, including when and how to register. Check with your local or state elections office for the most detailed and up-to-date information for your place of residence.

Once you have registered, your election office may send you (in a few weeks) a voter registration card listing your polling place: it’s the place where you should go on election day with your ID card.

In case of any question, on election day you can get help from a Poll worker.

How to change my voter registration?

You'll have to update or change your voter registration if you:

  • • Move within your state
  • • Change your name
  • • Want to change your political party affiliation
  • • If you move permanently to another state, since you must register for voting in that new state

Submit your changes before your state’s registration deadline. That could be up to 30 days before the election.

You can change your registration online, by mail, or by phone. You will have to provide your state driver’s license number or state ID number and your Social Security number.

As each state proceeds in a different way, follow this link to know how it works in your state.

We hope this information helps you in the exercise of your civic right to vote… Make your voice be heard in next elections!