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How to Register and Vote

You have turned eighteen, and now you’re officially an adult which means…you can vote! You now get to play an important role in our society and participate in your government by voting for who will represent you in the local, state, and national elections. This duty you now have on your shoulders may not seem as heavy as some of your other new responsibilities within your own personal life, but who you vote for matters no matter who you are or who you vote for. Candidates running for any type of election all have agendas and issues that can impact your life, so it is very important to vote. Now that you have this responsibility there could be many questions and worries coming to your mind. Such as, where do I vote? How do I register to vote? Am I voting for the right person? These are all important and necessary questions to ask and here are some steps and advice to guide you to make your voting experience easy and as less stressful as possible.

by Ella M., TeenWell Ambassador

In order to register go to your state’s online registration site and follow the steps listed on the website and submit your registration form. For example, Texas’s is https://www.votetexas.gov/register-to-vote/. Note, some states do allow same day registration on election days; however, not every state does this. Make sure you check ahead of time online if the place you live has this opportunity or if you need to register ahead of time.

It is incredibly important to stay educated about the candidates and policies you are voting for. In order to stay educated about the issues at hand in your city, state, or nation in regards to a specific candidate you can go to their official election websites to learn more about them individually. This will allow you to know who you are voting for and you can then make an educated decision about who you want to represent you at every level of government. To learn more please go to our page about How to Stay an Educated Voter.

Elections are happening constantly within your own community, and some of them may be important to you. To find out when and what these elections are you can quickly online search local elections and research deep into the local politics going on around you. Federal elections are usually held in early November. To find out more about the different elections, when they happen? What are they about? Visit our page on the difference between each election and their impact on you.  

To make your first few voting experiences easier, try to find the polling station closest to you wherever you are. This is a very simple step to the voting process. All you need to do is either ask someone near you where they vote or you can look it up online.

The final step to voting is actually voting. Once you get to your location it gets very simple. Make sure you bring some form of identification such as a driver’s license or passport. When you arrive, present your identification and then you can finally vote. 

Now this is a lot of information, but once you register you never really have to register again. Voting can be stressful and overwhelming, especially if you’re new to it. Hopefully this list answers some of your questions and gives you an idea of what you need to do in order to have a successful voting experience. There are always tons of resources on this subject everywhere. Whether it’s from a parent, friend, or online your questions can be answered. If you need help answering some of these questions there are many resources listed below to help answer them, find a polling location, etc.

  1. Rock the Vote: a helpful resource with many questions and answers regarding voting. https://www.rockthevote.org/how-to-vote/voting-faqs/
  2. This is the official United States voting website with the ability to get you to the place you need to register in any state. https://vote.gov/
  3. This link written by Tufts University gives very helpful and general information about elections and voting all together and the importance of both. https://circle.tufts.edu/our-research/broadening-youth-voting
  4. This is a resource to help you find the nearest voting poll station. https://www.vote.org/polling-place-locator/
  5. This website helps with general information about the general voting process. https://texasdemocrats.org/what-to-bring/