Your Vote: If you haven’t registered, it’s time

| 9/28/2011

Election Day is right around the corner – Nov. 8 – so it is important to register now to cast your ballot. Your vote can make a difference.

Deadlines to register are all over the map. The majority of states require prospective voters to get squared away at least three weeks before the elections. Fewer than 10 states permit voters to register the same day they cast ballots.

There are 13 states that 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, Oklahoma, Oregon, Virginia and West Virginia.

Eight states offer same-day registration – Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, Wisconsin 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 exception is North Dakota, where no registration is required. It is worth noting that P.O. boxes are not acceptable to establish residency.

If you registered in the past, but haven’t voted for a few years, contact your local election office before the deadline to make sure your registration is still active.

To register, visit and click on “How to register.”