Voting F.A.Q.

Voter Registration/Voting

When is the last day to register to vote?

Voter registration deadlines vary from 30 days before the election to the day of the election. See our "Registration Deadlines" page for more information.

Do I need to be a citizen to register to vote?

Yes; you must have been born in the United States or be a fully naturalized U.S. citizen in order to register to vote.

What if I move? Do I need to re-register?

Yes; if you have changed your address, changed your name, or want to change your political party affiliation, you must submit a new voter registration form.

What are voter cards?

After you submit your registration, your election office will send out a "voter card" to let you know your registration has been verified and completed. The voter card helps you to confirm you're registered to vote and that your information is correct.

Do I need a voter card to vote?

No; voter cards are NOT required in order to vote.

Do I need to show ID in order to vote?

Most states require some form of identification, either when you register and/or when you vote. The rules vary state by state.

I will not be in my county on Election Day. How can I get an absentee ballot?

You must first be registered to vote in order to request an absentee ballot. If you are registered to vote, the requirements for requesting an absentee ballot vary from state to state. See our "Absentee/Overseas Voting" page for more information.

Am I required to vote for everything on the ballot?

Nope; you don't have to complete everything on the ballot.

For the general election am I required to vote for the party whose primary I voted in?

No. During the general election you may vote for any candidate that you wish regardless of your party affiliation, the candidate's party affiliation, or who you voted for in any primaries before the general election.

What should I do if I think my rights have been violated?

Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE if you feel your rights have been violated. There will be lawyers available to answer Election Day questions and concerns about voting procedures.

Electoral Process

Can more than two parties serve in a legislative body at one time?

Yes. In fact, there are currently five states where that is the case (as of October 2018); New York (3 parties; Democratic, Independence, and Republican), Vermont (3 parties; Democratic, Progressive, and Republican), Maine (3 parties; Democratic, Green, and Republican), New Hampshire (3 parties; Democratic, Libertarian, and Republican), and Nebraska (3 parties; Democratic, Libertarian, and Republican).

Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Nevada and Vermont also have at least one independent/unaffiliated member in their legislature.

Does that only apply to the states or can the U.S. Congress also have multiple parties?

The U.S. Congress can have more than two parties. Nothing at any level of government restrict the amount of parties that can serve within a legislative body.

Has the U.S. Congress ever had more than two parties seated? And if not, why?

Yes.

  • At one point, back in the 75th and 76th Congressional sessions, there were five parties in congress.
  • By the 78th Congressional session the Progressive Party had two senate seats along with one house seat, and the American Labor Party and the Farmer-Labor Party also had one House seat each.
  • The Progressive Party had one member in both legislative bodies, along with the American Labor Party having one member in the House of Representatives, in the 79th and 80th Congressional sessions.
  • The American Labor Party also had one Representative in the 81st Congressional session.
  • Senator James L. Buckley of the Conservative Party, who was elected in 1970, served one full term - for a total of three parties - in the 92nd Congressional session. Buckley was the last person to be elected from a party outside of a two-party duopoly.

The only reason the two-party duopoly has occurred is because voters continue to elect representatives from only two parties.