While the ability to actually vote online is still just a dream, most states in the U.S. do at least offer you the ability to register online. Here’s a state-by-state breakdown of where (and how) to get it done.
Traditionally, registering to vote requires that you fill out a paper registration form that you get from election officials (or the internet). You then deliver your printed form in person or by mail to those officials, who process it and then send you your voter ID card. Online registration is much quicker, and you don’t even have to leave your home to do it.
Right now, 31 states and the District of Columbia offer online registration, many of which just implemented the system within the last year. A few other states have passed legislation to authorize online registration, but have not yet enacted it. In all states that do offer it, you’ll need to already have a valid driver’s license or state-issued ID card to register. The system works by validating the information in your online registration against the information you already provided when you obtained your ID.
In states where online registration is not available, you can often download a registration form and either mail or deliver it in-person to an election official, saving at least one step in the registration process. And, of course, all states still allow you to register in person.
However, that’s not all–you can also register for absentee voting online in some states, allowing you to vote without leaving the house on election day.
All states allow absentee voting, but about half require that you have a valid reason for voting absentee. The other half do not require any excuse at all. While the eligibility criteria for absentee voting varies by state (and sometimes even by county), they do share some common excuses:
There are also a few other factors to take into account when considering absentee voting:
The method for absentee registration also varies by state. Some states allow you to select absentee voting as part of the online registration process. Others require that you fill out and submit a paper form.
The table below lists states that have online voting and where to register. It also shows whether each state requires an excuse for absentee voting or not and whether it allows permanent absentee status, along with where to find out more information about those programs. States listed as All Mail states (Colorado, Oregon, and Washington) feature permanent absentee voting by default, since all voting is conducted via mail anyway.
|State||Where to Register Online (if Applicable)||Absentee||Permanent||Early|
|Alaska||Alaska Online Voter Registration||No Excuse||Yes|
|Arizona||EZ Voter Registration||No Excuse||Yes||Yes|
|California||California Online Voter Registration||No Excuse||Yes||Yes|
|Colorado||Go Vote Colorado||All Mail||All Mail||All Mail|
|Connecticut||Connecticut Online Voter Registration||Excuse|
|Delaware||I Vote Delaware||Excuse|
|District of Columbia||District of Columbia Online Voter Registration||No Excuse||Yes||Yes|
|Georgia||Georgia Online Voter Registration||No Excuse||Yes|
|Hawaii||Hawaii Online Voter Registration||No Excuse||Yes||Yes|
|Illinois||Illinois Online Voter Registration||No Excuse||Yes|
|Indiana||Indiana Online Voter Registration||Excuse|
|Iowa||Iowa Online Voter Registration||No Excuse|
|Kansas||Kansas Online Voter Registration||No Excuse||Yes|
|Kentucky||Kentucky Online Voter Registration||Excuse|
|Maryland||Maryland Online Voter Registration||No Excuse|
|Massachusetts||Massachusetts Online Voter Registration||Excuse|
|Minnesota||MN Votes||No Excuse||Yes|
|Nebraska||Nebraska Online Voter Registration||No Excuse||Yes|
|Nevada||Nevada Online Voter Registration||No Excuse||Yes|
|New Mexico||New Mexico Online Voter Registration||No Excuse||Yes|
|New York||New York Online Voter Registration||Excuse|
|North Carolina||No Excuse||Yes|
|North Dakota||No Excuse||Yes|
|Oregon||OreStar||All Mail||All Mail||All Mail|
|Pennsylvania||PA Online Voter Registration||Excuse|
|South Carolina||S.C. Online Voter Registration||Excuse|
|South Dakota||No Excuse|
|Utah||Utah Online Voter Registration||No Excuse||Yes|
|Vermont||Vermont Online Voter Registration||No Excuse|
|Virginia||Virginia Online Voter Registration||Excuse|
|Washington||MyVote||All Mail||All Mail||All Mail|
|West Virginia||West Virginia Online Voter Registration||Excuse||Yes||Yes|
Now, you have no excuse for not registering. No more finding the right location, figuring out how to get there when they’re open, and standing in line. Just click and sign up. So get out there and vote!