You Can Still Register To Vote On Election Day In 21 States

by Christina Marfice
Originally Published: 
Bloomberg Creative/Getty

Your state may allow you to register to vote on election day. Here are all the states that do, and how to register

It goes without saying that this is the most important presidential election most people have seen in their lifetime. The coronavirus rages on, claiming the lives of thousands of Americans with each passing month, with no national strategy for combating it. The rights of immigrants, including children who were separated at the border from their parents, are at stake. Millions of Americans’ access to affordable healthcare could be affected by the winner of this race, too. We all need to vote. And even if you still need to register to vote, you might be able to make your voice heard.

In many states, people can register to vote on election day. Here’s everything you need to know.

First, check to see if you’re actually registered. Even if you think you need to register to vote, you may not. There’s a simple way to check your registration status: Go to, click “Check Your Registration,” and enter the personal details the site prompts you for. It should be able to tell you immediately whether you’re registered — and where.

If you’ve recently moved, or recently registered, things get more complicated. It’s possible that you are registered to vote, but if you’ve recently moved and updated your voter registration, or you’ve registered within the last few weeks, your registration hasn’t processed yet and won’t show up on a tool like That’s OK — you can head to your polling place and ask. If you aren’t on the voter rolls there, request to register at the polls if your state allows it. Otherwise, request a provisional ballot. Poll workers are required to give them to anyone who asks, and it will be affirmed later once your registration goes through.

If you’re not registered to vote, you may still have hope. Here are all the states that allow voters to register at the polls on Election Day (today):

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connnecticut
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • North Dakota
  • Rhode Island
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin

If you live in one of those states and still need to register to vote, check your state or local election authority for instructions on how to do so. You’ll probably need to bring proof of address (like a lease or a piece of recent, unopened mail), as well as a couple forms of ID.

Today is Election Day, and even if you still need to register to vote, you might have a chance to participate and make your voice heard. If at all possible, vote. Lives depend on it.

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