Exercise Your Right. Register to Vote Now

 ADHD Weekly 2016-09-08

Are you registered to vote? In the United States, seven out of 10 adults have registered to vote. But registering to vote, like many other “to-do” list items, can require additional effort for adults affected by ADHD.

In the United States, voting is considered a civic responsibility, in addition to a Constitutionally guaranteed right. All American citizens 18 years old and older have the right to vote. This year is the 96th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which extended the right to vote to women.

There are resources available to help simplify the steps needed to register before the upcoming general and presidential election.

To register to vote or to check if you’re already registered, you need to visit your local board of elections, either online or in person. Many states have “motor voter” laws that make registering to vote part of the driver’s licensing process.

You need to register to vote or update your voter registration if, since the last election:

  • You turned 18
  • You haven’t registered before
  • You moved to a new home
  • You changed your name
  • You wish to change your political party
  • Your voter registration has lapsed. Some states require that you vote every few years to keep your registration current.
  • You have completed a criminal sentence and have had your right to vote legally returned

You cannot vote in the general election in November if you haven’t registered by your state’s election deadline. Most states have resources and in-person assistance available if you have questions related to party registration, documentation needed, and voting or polling locations. For most states, the registration deadline for the general election is in October. However, Puerto Rico residents must register by September 19. Absentee ballots are available for voters who cannot come to the voting booth but you must apply for an absentee ballot ahead of time.

To register online to vote for most states and for online assistance:

The nonprofit organization, Rock the Vote, lists the registration and absentee ballot application deadlines by state. It also has a handy look-up feature to check if you’re already registered to vote.

Some states will allow 16- and 17-year-olds to register to vote if they will 18 before the next general election. However, the young voter must be 18 on election day in order to actually cast a ballot. Many high school civics and government classes will have programs to help young voters register.