By Elizabeth Hasfal (COL'23)
It’s no doubt that turning 18 is an important milestone. For many of us, finally becoming a legal adult comes with newfound freedom such as living away from home for the first time or getting that tattoo you’ve always wanted but were never allowed to get. Turning 18 also comes with an important responsibility: voting in your local, state, and national elections.
If you are anything like me, going to college in Washington, D.C. during a presidential election year sounds like a huge dream come true (RIP). Although we might not be on campus for November’s presidential election, we can all still participate in choosing the nation’s next commander-in-chief from home. Here’s how.
How can I register to vote?
As of July 2020, online voter registration is possible in 40 states and the District of Columbia. If your state does not offer online registration, you can register by downloading a mail-in voter registration form. To see a map of which states offer online voter registration, click here.
Regardless of whether or not your state offers online registration, the Vote.gov website has all the information you need to make registration simple and easy. First, select your state from the dropdown list then click “find out how to register”.
The next page will let you know whether or not your state offers online registration. If your state does allow online voter registration, select the option beginning with “start your online registration” and you will be redirected to your state’s individual voter registration website.
If online registration is not available for your state, click the blue hyperlink that follows “find out ways to vote” and download your state’s paper voter registration application form. Instructions regarding where to mail your registration form should be outlined on the form itself.
Whether you register online or with a paper form, most states will ask for information from your Driver’s License/Non-Driver ID and your Social Security Number, so make sure to have those details available!
Voter registration deadlines vary state-by-state. Don’t forget to register before your state’s deadline if you want to vote in November’s presidential election! Most states’ deadlines are in early or mid-October. To check your state’s specific deadline, click here.
Elizabeth Hasfal is a sophomore in the college from Westchester, NY majoring in American Studies and French and minoring in Women & Gender Studies. At Georgetown, she is a member of the Student Advocacy Office, works at the Hilltoss and serves on the OWN IT Summit board. In her free time, Elizabeth is probably busy updating her Spotify playlists and dreaming about the day when live concerts can actually become a thing again.