Cover Story - Special Section
First things first, are you registered?

Election Day is Nov. 4, so it is important to register now to cast your ballot. As evidenced countless times in our nation’s history, one vote can make a difference.

Thirteen states require registration at least 30 days before Election Day. They are Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

In 18 states, the registration deadline is 20 to 29 days before Election Day. They are Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Virginia and West Virginia.

Seven states offer same-day registration – Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire and Wyoming – which means you can register and vote at the same time, but only if you have a photo ID with your address on it.

The remaining states have registration deadlines that vary between the day before and 19 days before Election Day.

Any time you move – even across the street – you must reregister. The exceptions are North Dakota and certain municipalities in Wisconsin, where no registration is required.

If you registered in the past, but haven’t voted for a while – say, four years – contact your local elections office before the deadline to make sure your registration is still active. LL


Exercise your power

With Election Day only weeks away, it is important to register to vote now. Don’t underestimate your power to effect change. Follow the guidelines listed below and start making a difference.

Deadline to register

Each state has a different deadline for voter registration, but in many states you need to register at least 20 days before Election Day. This year, Election Day is Nov. 4. Check the story at left to see whether your state’s deadline has passed. If you’ve missed the deadline, don’t give up. Go ahead and register now so you will be ready for the next opportunity to spur change.

Rules for registering

For most states, you can register to vote in person or via mail. Depending on your state, you may be able to print your registration form from a Web site or pick one up in person from the DMV, local board of elections office, post office, library or other locations designated by state officials. See Page 54 for your state’s elections office phone number and Web address.

Who can vote?

As long as you’re 18 or older, an American citizen, and a resident of the state where you’re planning to register, you have an equal chance to decide who you want to run your country, your state, your county and your town.

Where to vote

After you’ve sent in your registration form, your state will mail out details about your polling place. Some states will send a voter registration ID card, which you may be required to show at the polls. Other states require a photo ID at the polls.

Many states also offer advance voting, voting by mail and absentee voting – making it possible for truckers to make their voices heard no matter where they happen to be on Election Day. LL