2018 Election: How To Vote While On Contract, Deadline For Registration
Many of these issues will affect travel healthcare professionals in some way, and travelers have the added challenge of potentially voting outside of their home state if they are away on assignment.
To help, we’ve answered some common questions travelers may have about the voting process ahead of a few important upcoming deadlines.
Q: When can I vote?
A: For most states, the official 2018 midterm election day is November 6.
You can also vote early. Each state has individual rules for early voting. You can find the early voting dates and rules for your state from the National Conference of State Legislatures here: http://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/early-voting-in-state-elections.aspx
Q: What if I’m out of state or can’t visit a physical polling location on election day?
A: You will have to submit an absentee ballot. Travel healthcare professionals who are currently on assignment out of state will have to use this method.
Every state has different rules for absentee voting, so visit your state’s election website to find out full details: https://www.usa.gov/election-office
It’s important to remember that, while they may not be counted until several days after election night, absentee votes absolutely do count as a valid vote and can often be the deciding factor during very tight races.
Q: Do I have to register to vote?
A: Unless your home state is North Dakota, then you are required to register if you would like to cast your vote.
Q: When is the deadline to register?
A: For most states, the deadline to register is October 9 but some states allow later registration times. You can find your state’s deadline by visiting their election website, which you can find here: https://www.usa.gov/election-office
We at Healthcare Traveler Today recommend registering as soon as possible before the deadline to avoid any voter eligibility issues.
Q: How do I register to vote?
A: By completing the National Mail Voter Registration Form. We’ve provided the form below, but you can also download it in multiple different languages on the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) website. After filling out the form, you can return it to your local election office which you can find here: https://www.fvap.gov/search-offices
You can register to vote online in the 36 states listed here: http://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/electronic-or-online-voter-registration.aspx
You may also register to vote by using your state’s voter registration form. Find your state election website here. You can also use the form to update your name or address.
North Dakota, Wyoming and U.S. territories (Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa and Guam) do not accept this form, according to the EAC website. New Hampshire accepts it only as a request for a state absentee voter mail-in registration form.
You can also get the form in-person at these locations:
- State or local election offices
- The department of motor vehicles
- Public assistance agencies
- State-funded programs that serve people with disabilities
- Any public facility a state has designated as a voter registration agency (public libraries, public schools, and city or county clerk’s offices).
Q: Can I still register to vote by mail if I have never registered before?
A: Yes! If you are voting for the first time in your state’s election and need to submit a voter registration form through the mail, you may be required to show proof of identification the first time you vote at a polling location, depending on your state’s laws. Some states may also have additional voter ID requirements.
Valid ID options include:
- A current and valid photo identification
- A current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or government document that shows your name and address
If you are voting by mail, you must provide a copy of your valid ID with your voter registration form.
Q: I’ve voted before, but I don’t know if my registration is still valid. How can I check or update my registration?
A: The most reliable way to check if you are registered to vote is through your state’s election office website. You can find your state’s election website here: https://www.usa.gov/election-office
You can also check your registration on the non-partisan website Vote.org.
Each state has different requirements for updating information on your voter registration. Visit your state’s election website to find the full details.
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