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How to Register to Vote for President

The 2020 presidential election will be here before we know it, and voting laws can be complicated: they vary state by state, and are sometimes seemingly designed to be confusing. Plus, the deadlines for primary elections will be here before we know it. So what better time than now to bone up on your state’s dating rules and regulations?

The general election takes place Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, but the states’ primary elections and caucuses take place on different dates, some of which are confirmed and some of which have been estimated based on past caucus and primary dates. Vote.org maintains an up-to-date list of voting registration requirements. If you want to participate in your state’s caucus, you must register ahead of time. Your state’s Board of Elections or Secretary of State website will have more information about that.

There are three ways to register to vote: in person, by mail or online. All states allow registration by mail and in person. Not all states allow online registration, and only a handful allow you to register in person on Election Day.

If you live in a state where in-person registration is permitted on Election Day, be sure to bring a valid ID and proof of residency to your registration place. Also, be aware that most states require you to be a resident for at least 30 days prior to voting. So if you’re a recent transplant, you might be out of luck.

Also, if you’re planning to vote by mail-in ballot, the rules may vary, so you should double-check on your state’s election website.


Alabama | Alaska |Arizona | Arkansas | California | Colorado | Connecticut | Delaware | Florida | Georgia | Hawaii | Idaho | Illinois | Indiana | Iowa | Kansas | Kentucky | Louisiana | Maine | Maryland | Massachusetts | Michigan | Minnesota | Mississippi | Missouri | Montana | Nebraska | Nevada | New Hampshire | New Jersey | New Mexico | New York | North Carolina | North Dakota | Ohio | Oklahoma | Oregon | Pennsylvania | | Rhode Island | South Carolina | South Dakota | Tennessee | Texas | Utah | Vermont | Virginia | Washington | Washington D.C. | West Virginia | Wisconsin | Wyoming


Alabama: 14 days before the election in person, by mail or online.

The primary election is being held on March 3, 2020, in Alabama, so the deadline to register for that election is Feb. 18, 2020.

The deadline for the presidential election is Oct. 19, 2020.

Click here for more information and to register to vote in Alabama.

Alaska: 30 days before the election in person, by mail or online.

Alaska’s caucuses begin March 3, 2020, so the deadline to register for the caucus is Feb. 1, 2020.

The deadline to register for the presidential election in Alaska is Oct. 4, 2020.

Click here for more information and to register to vote in Alaska.

Arizona: 29 days before the election in person, by mail or online.

Arizona’s primaries will be held March 17, 2020, so the deadline to register for that election is Feb. 17, 2020.

The deadline to register for the presidential election in Arizona is Oct. 5, 2020.

Click here for more information and to register to vote in Arizona.

Arkansas: 30 days before the election in person or by mail.

Arkansas’ primary election will be held May 19, 2020, so the deadline to register to vote in that election is April 19, 2020.

The deadline to register to vote in the presidential election in Arkansas is Oct. 4, 2020.

Online registration is currently not available in Arkansas.

Click here for more information and to register to vote in Arkansas.

California: 15 days before the election in person, by mail or online.

California’s primary election will be held March 3, 2020, so the deadline to register to vote in that election is Feb. 17, 2020.

The deadline to register to vote in the presidential election in California is Oct. 19, 2020.

Click here for more information and to register to vote in California.

Colorado: eight days before the election by mail or online, or on Election Day in person.

Colorado allows voters to register in person on Election Day and still have their vote counted.

Colorado voters who’d like to register online must do so eight days before election. Those who are registering by mail must do so 22 days before the election.

The Colorado primary is presumably being held on March 3, 2020. That means the deadline to register online is Feb. 24, 2020, and the deadline to register by mail is Feb. 10, 2020.

The deadline to register online for the general election is Oct. 26, 2020, and the deadline to register by mail for the general election is Oct. 12, 2020.

Click here for more information and to register to vote in Colorado.

Connecticut: 7 days before election day by mail, online or in person, or in person on Election Day.

Connecticut allows voters to register in person on Election Day.

Connecticut’s primary election will likely be held on April 28, 2020. The deadline to register online is April 23, 2020.

The deadline to register online for the general election is seven days beforehand, or Oct. 27, 2020.

Click here to register to vote in Connecticut.

Delaware: 24 days before the election online, by mail or in person.

Delaware’s primary election will likely be held on April 28, 2020. The deadline to register to vote in this election is April 4, 2020.

The deadline to register to vote in the general presidential election is Oct. 10, 2020.

Click here for more information and to register to vote in Delaware.

Florida: 29 days before the election in person, by mail or online.

Florida’s primary election will be held March 17, 2020. The deadline to register to vote in that election is Feb. 18, 2020.

The deadline to register to vote in the general presidential election is Oct. 5, 2020.

Click here for more information and to register to vote in Florida.

Georgia: 28 days before the election online, by mail or in person.

Georgia’s primary election will be held March 3, 2020. The deadline to register to vote in that election is Feb. 5, 2020.

The deadline to register to vote in the general presidential election is Oct. 6, 2020.

Click here for more information and to register to vote in Georgia.

Hawaii: 30 days before the election online, by mail or in person.

Hawaii’s caucus will be held March 10, 2020. The deadline to register to vote beforehand is Feb. 10, 2020.

The deadline to register to vote in the general presidential election is Oct. 4, 2020.

Click here for more information and to register to vote in Hawaii.

Idaho: 25 days before the election by mail or online, or in person on Election Day.

Idaho is a state which allows in-person voter registration on Election Day. If registering ahead of time, applications must be postmarked 25 days before the election.

Idaho’s Democratic presidential primary — its first after a history of caucusing — will be held March 10, 2020. The deadline to register by mail is Feb. 15, 2020.

The deadline to register to vote in the general presidential election is Oct. 9, 2020.

Click here for more information and to register to vote in Idaho.

Illinois: 27 days before the election by mail, 16 days before the election online, or up to and including Election Day in person.

In Illinois, there are three different deadlines for voter registration. If registering by mail, the deadline is 27 days before the election. If registering online, the deadline is 16 days before the election. If registering in person at approved sites, registration is open for the full 27 days before Election Day, including on Election Day itself.

Illinois’ primary is presumably March 17, 2020. The deadline to register for this election by mail will be Feb. 19, 2020. Online, the deadline will be March 1, 2020.

The deadline to register for the general election by mail is Oct. 6, 2020. Online, it’s Oct. 18, 2020.

Click here for more information and to register to vote in Illinois.

Indiana: 29 days before the election in person, by mail or online.

Indiana’s primary election will be May 5, 2020. The deadline to register to vote for that election is April 6, 2020.

The deadline to register to vote in the general presidential is Oct. 5, 2020.

Click here for more information and to register to vote in Indiana.

Iowa: 10 to 15 days before the election, with in person Election Day registration allowed.

There are three sets of deadlines for voting in Iowa. If registering in person or online, registration must be completed 10 days before Election Day. If registering by mail, the deadline is 15 days before Election Day. But failing these two options, voters may register the day of the election.

Iowa’s precinct caucuses begin on Feb. 3, 2020. To take part, the deadline to register online is Jan. 24, 2020.

The deadline to register online for the general election is Oct. 24, 2020.

Click here for more information and to register to vote in Iowa.

Kansas: 21 days before the election by mail, online or in person.

Kansas’ caucus will presumably begin Sunday, March 7. The deadline to register online for the caucus sessions is Feb. 15, 2020.

The deadline to register for the general election is Oct. 13, 2020.

Click here for more information and to register to vote in Kansas.

Kentucky: 29 days before the election by mail, online or in person.

Kentucky splits up its caucus and primary based on party affiliation.

A caucus for Republican voters will presumably take place March 7, 2020. The deadline to register to vote before that caucus is Feb. 7, 2020.

Kentucky’s primary for Democratic voters will take place on May 19, 2020. The deadline to register to vote in this election is April 20, 2020.

The deadline to register for the general presidential election is Oct. 5, 2020.

Click here for more information and to register to vote in Kentucky.

Louisiana: 30 days before Election Day by mail or in person, 20 days online.

Louisiana’s primary election will take place March 7, 2020. The deadline to register to vote in that election by mail is Feb. 6, 2020.

The deadline to register for the general presidential election by mail is Oct. 4, 2020.

Click here for more information and to register to vote in Louisiana.

Maine: 21 days before Election Day by mail, or on Election Day in person.

Maine allows voters to register in person while voting on Election Day. When mailing in registration, the deadline is 21 days beforehand.

Maine’s caucuses begin presumably on March 7, so the deadline to register to vote ahead of the caucus is Feb. 29, 2020.

The deadline to register to vote in the presidential election is Oct. 13, 2020.

Online voter registration is not available in Maine.

Click here for more information and to register to vote in Maine.

Maryland: five days before the election in person, 21 days before the election by mail or online.

The primary election in Maryland will take place April 28, 2020. The deadline to register for this election online or by mail is April 7, 2020. In-person registration can take place until April 23, 2020.

The deadline to register for the general election by mail or online is Oct. 13, 2020. The deadline to register in person is Oct. 29, 2020.

Click here for more information and to register to vote in Maryland.

Massachusetts: 20 days before the election by mail, in person or online.

Massachusetts’ primary election is being held March 3, 2020. The deadline to register for this election online, by mail or in person is Feb. 12, 2020.

The deadline to register for the general election is Oct. 14, 2020.

Click here for more information and to register to vote in Massachusetts.

Michigan: 30 days before the election by mail or in person.

Michigan’s primary election will take place March 10, 2020. The deadline to register for this election by mail or in person is Feb. 19, 2020.

The deadline to register for the general election is Oct. 4, 2020.

Online voter registration is not available in Michigan.

Click here for more information and to register to vote in Michigan.

Minnesota: 21 days before the election by mail or online, or in person on Election Day.

Minnesota is one of the rare states that allows voters to register in person on Election Day. The deadline to register ahead of time online or by mail is 21 days beforehand.

Minnesota’s primary election is March 3, 2020. The deadline to register for that election by mail or online is Feb. 11, 2020.

The deadline to register online or by mail for the general election is Oct. 13, 2020.

Click here for more information and to register to vote in Minnesota.

Mississippi: 30 days before the election in person or by mail.

Mississippi’s primary election will be held presumably on March 10, 2020. The deadline to register for that election online or by mail is Feb. 9, 2020.

The deadline to register to vote in the Mississippi general election is Oct. 4, 2020.

Online registration is not available in Mississippi.

Click here for more information and to register to vote in Mississippi.

Missouri: 27 days before the election by mail, in person or online.

The Missouri primary election will take place March 10, 2020. The deadline to register for this election in person, by mail or online is Feb. 12, 2020.

The deadline to register for the general presidential election is Oct. 7, 2020.

Click here for more information and to register to vote in Missouri.

Montana: 30 days before the election by mail, or in-person on Election Day.

In Montana, your voter registration must be postmarked no later than 30 days before Election Day. You can register in person on Election Day, but you must do so at a designated election office — not your local polling place.

The primary election in Montana will presumably take place on June 2, 2020. This means the deadline to register by mail is May 3, 2020.

The deadline to register for the general presidential election is Oct. 4, 2020.

Online registration is not available in Montana.

Click here for more information and to register to vote in Montana.

Nebraska: 11 days before Election Day in person, or 18 days before the election online and by mail.

The Nebraska primary election will presumably take place May 12, 2020. The last day to register in person is May 1, 2020, and the last day to register by mail or online is May 24, 2020.

The deadline to register for the general presidential election by mail or online is Oct. 16, 2020 or Oct. 23, 2020 in person.

Click here for more information and to register to vote in Nebraska.

Nevada: 21 days before Election day in person, 31 days by mail, and 19 days online.

The Nevada Democratic caucus will presumably take place Feb. 22, 2020, and the Republican caucus will presumably take place Feb. 25, 2020.

To participate in the Democratic caucus, the deadline for voter registration is Feb. 1 in person; Feb. 3 online; or Jan. 29 by mail.

To participate in the Republican caucus, the deadline for voter registration is Feb. 4 in person; Feb. 6 online; or Jan. 26 by mail.

The deadline to register for the general presidential election by mail is Oct. 3, 2020. The deadline to do so in person is Oct. 13, 2020. And the deadline to register online is Oct. 15, 2020.

Click here for more information and to register to vote in Nevada.

New Hampshire: six to 13 days by mail before the election, depending on where you live; in person on Election Day.

New Hampshire’s mail registration deadline is six to 13 days prior to the election, depending on where you live. But you can always register in person on Election Day.

The New Hampshire primary will presumably take place Feb. 11, 2020, so the earliest deadline for a mail-in registration is Jan. 29, 2020.

The earliest deadline to register for the general presidential election is Oct. 21, 2020.

Online registration is not available in New Hampshire.

Click here for more information and to register to vote in New Hampshire.

New Jersey: 21 days before the election online or by mail.

The New Jersey primary will presumably take place on June 2, 2020. The deadline to register to vote in that election is May 12, 2020.

The deadline to register for the general presidential election is Oct. 13, 2020.

Online registration is not available in New Jersey.

Click here for more information and to register to vote in New Jersey.

New Mexico: 28 days before the election by mail, online or in person.

The New Mexico presidential primary will presumably take place on June 2, 2020. The deadline to register for that election is May 5, 2020.

The deadline to register for the general presidential election is Oct. 6, 2020.

Click here for more information and to register to vote in New Mexico.

New York: 25 days before the election online, by mail or in person.

The New York primary will presumably take place April 21, 2020. The deadline to register for this election is March 27, 2020.

The deadline to register for the general presidential election is Oct. 9, 2020.

Click here for more information and to register to vote in New York.

North Carolina: 25 days before the election by mail or 3 days beforehand in person.

North Carolina allows voters who’ve missed the mail-in deadline to register in person until three days before election day.

The North Carolina primary will presumably take place on March 3, 2020. The deadline to register for that election by mail is Feb. 7, 2020.

The deadline to register for the general presidential election is Oct. 9, 2020.

Online voter registration is not available in North Carolina.

Click here for more information and to register to vote in North Carolina.

North Dakota: bring valid ID and proof of residency to the polls.

North Dakota has the most forgiving voter registration policy of all 50 states: North Dakota voters don’t have to register ahead of time at all.

North Dakotans can vote by bringing ID and proof of address to their polling place.

North Dakota’s primary caucus is scheduled for March 10, 2020.

Click here for more information about voting in North Dakota.

Ohio: 30 days before the election in person, by mail or online.

Ohio’s presidential primary is scheduled for March 10, 2020. The deadline to register for this election is Feb. 9, 2020.

The deadline to register for the general presidential election is Oct. 4, 2020.

Click here for more information and to register to vote in Ohio.

Oklahoma: 25 days before the election in person or by mail.

Oklahoma’s primary election is scheduled for March 3, 2020. The deadline to register for that election is Feb. 7, 2020.

The deadline to register for the general presidential election is Oct. 9, 2020.

Online voter registration is not available in Oklahoma.

Click here for more information and to register to vote in Oklahoma.

Oregon: 21 days before the election in person, by mail or online.

Oregon’s primary election is scheduled for May 19, 2020. The deadline to register to vote in that election is April 28, 2020.

The deadline to register for the general presidential election is Oct. 13, 2020.

Click here for more information and to register to vote in Oregon.

Pennsylvania: 30 days before the election in person, by mail or online.

The Pennsylvania primary will presumably take place on April 28, 2020. The deadline to register for this election is March 29, 2020.

The deadline to register for the general presidential election is Oct. 4, 2020.

Click here for more information and to register to vote in Pennsylvania.

Rhode Island: 30 days before the election online, by mail or in person, or on Election Day in person for Presidential elections only.

Rhode Island allows residents to register in person only for Presidential elections. Otherwise, the deadline for registration online, by mail, or in person is 30 days.

The Rhode Island primary will presumably be held April 28, 2020. The deadline to register for this election is March 29, 2020.

The deadline to register for the general presidential election is Oct. 4, 2020.

Click here for more information and to register to vote in Rhode Island.

South Carolina: 30 days before the election online, by mail or in person.

South Carolina’s primary elections will presumably take place on Feb. 29, 2020, for Democrats and Feb. 15, 2020, for Republicans. The deadline to register is Jan. 30, 2020, for Democrats and Jan. 16, 2020, for Republicans.

The deadline to register for the general presidential election is Oct. 4, 2020.

Click here for more information and to register to vote in South Carolina.

South Dakota: 15 days before the election in person or by mail.

South Dakota’s primary election will presumably take place on June 2, 2020. The deadline to register for this election will be May 18, 2020.

The deadline to register for the general presidential election is Oct. 19, 2020.

South Dakota does not allow voter registration online.

Click here for more information and to register to vote in South Dakota.

Tennessee: 30 days before the election in person, by mail or online.

The Tennessee primary will presumably be held March 3, 2020. The deadline to register for this election is Feb. 2, 2020.

The deadline to register for the general presidential election is Oct. 4, 2020.

Click here for more information and to register to vote in Tennessee.

Texas: 30 days before the election by mail or in person.

The Texas primary will presumably be held March 3, 2020. The deadline to register for this election is Feb. 2, 2020.

The deadline to register for the general presidential election is Oct. 4, 2020.

Online voter registration is not currently available in Texas.

Click here for more information and to register to vote in Texas.

Utah: seven days before the election, or at the polls on Election Day.

Utah’s rules vary depending on how you’re registering. If you’re registering by mail, it must be postmarked no later than 30 days before Election Day. You can register online or in person seven days before the election. You can also register at the polls on Election Day.

The Utah primary caucus will presumably take place March 24, 2020. The deadline to register online in time for the caucus is March 17, 2020.

The deadline to register for the general presidential election is Oct. 27, 2020.

Click here for more information and to register to vote in Utah.

Vermont: you can register on Election Day online, by mail or in person.

Vermont’s deadline for voter registration is Election Day. Mail-in registration must be received by Election Day and online registration is possible up to and including Election Day. In-person registration is also allowed at the polls. It’s a good idea to bring proof of residence to the polls if you register online or by mail near the deadline.

The Vermont primary is March 3, 2020.

Click here for more information and to register to vote in Vermont.

Virginia: 22 days before the election online, by mail or in person.

The Virginia primary is scheduled for March 3, 2020. The deadline to register to vote in this election is Feb. 10, 2020.

The deadline to register for the general presidential election is Oct. 12, 2020.

Click here for more information and to register to vote in Virginia.

Washington: 29 days before the election by mail or online, eight days beforehand in person.

The Washington primary will presumably take place on March 10, 2020. The deadline to register by mail or online is Feb. 10, 2020. The deadline to register in person is March 2, 2020.

The deadline to register for the general presidential election is Oct. 5, 2020, by mail or online. The deadline to register in person is Oct. 26, 2020.

Click here for more information and to register to vote in Washington.

Washington, DC: 21 days before the election, or on Election Day in person.

The Washington, DC, caucuses are scheduled for March 21, 2020, so the deadline to register is Feb. 29, 2020.

The deadline to register for the general presidential election is Oct. 13, 2020, but voters can also register on Election Day in person.

Click here for more information and to register to vote in Washington, DC.

West Virginia: 21 days before the election by mail, online or in person.

The West Virginia primary is May 12, 2020. The deadline to register for this election is April 21, 2020.

The deadline to register for the general presidential election is Oct. 13, 2020.

Click here for more information and to register to vote in West Virginia.

Wisconsin: 20 days before Election Day by mail or online, or on the day of the election in person.

Wisconsin allows voters to register by mail or online 20 days before an election, or in person on Election Day.

The Wisconsin primary election will take place on April 7, 2020. The deadline to register by mail or online is March 18, 2020.

The deadline to register for the general presidential election by mail or online is Oct. 14, 2020.

Click here for more information and to register to vote in Wisconsin.

Wyoming: 14 days before the election by mail, or in person on Election Day.

Wyoming allows voters to register in person on Election Day if the state hasn’t received your voter registration by mail 14 days before the election.

Wyoming’s Republican caucus will presumably be held March 14, 2020, so the deadline to register before that caucus is Feb. 29, 2020. The state’s Democratic caucus will presumably be held on April 11, 2020, so the deadline to register before that caucus is March 28, 2020.

The deadline to register by mail for the general presidential election is Oct. 20, 2020.

Online voter registration is not available in Wyoming.

Click here for more information and to register to vote in Wyoming.

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