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How to Register to Vote After a Move

If you recently moved to a new state, or will be in the near future, registering to vote is likely on your moving checklist - follow these tips for a hassle-free voter re-registration process.

Moving to a new state comes with a standard set of updates to your personal information, but when it comes to voting, it may not be as simple as updating your address on your previous registration. 

In an effort to increase the participation in state and national elections, state and national government offer many easy options for voter registration. From updating your address to election day, check out these tips that make registering to vote after a move easy and hassle-free.

1. Update Your Residential Mailing Address 

According to the Brennan Center, 90 million eligible U.S. voters, roughly 45 percent of the population, move every five years. Your voter’s registration is tied to your residential address, so if you’ve recently moved to a new state, your first order of business is to update your mailing address

Updating your mailing address can be done online in less than 10 minutes, or in-person at a DMV or local post office. For more reasons than just registering to vote, this moving checklist item should ideally be completed before moving day.

2. Check Your State’s Voter Registration Deadlines

While the deadline to register in your new state's election can vary depending on your location, most states require you to register at least 30 days before election day - you can contact your state election office to obtain an application and deadline. Once registered, check the status of your application, preferably before the deadline, in case any changes to your personal information need to be made.

Check out the U.S. Vote Foundation’s list of election and voter registration deadline dates per state.

3. Register to Vote Online, In-Person or By-Mail

  • Online - In our fast-paced, technology-driven world, most voters opt to register online. You can register online by visiting vote.usa.gov. Additionally, you're able to obtain your state election dates and registration deadlines on this site as well. 
  • By-Mail - If you’re more of the pen and paper type, you can download the National Mail Voter Registration Form and fill it out manually. If you opt to mail, make sure to follow up and confirm that your application was received and is being processed.
  • In-Person -  Most states offer the option of registering to vote at local public facilities such as the DMV, election offices and armed service recruitment centers.

4. Check Polling Station Locations & Hours

You can avoid a hectic election day by being prepared with general information about your local polling station - the earlier you get there, the better! Find out the location, hours of operation, and voter I.D. requirements well before election day - mostly because turning back around to get proper I.D. can be a huge headache. 

If you have the option of multiple polling locations, find out which one is the least busy so that you can get in, vote and be on your way quickly! 

Getting settled in your new environment can be the best and most exciting part of the moving process. Having a comprehensive moving checklist to remind you to update your mailing address, move your cable and register to vote can make the process run even smoother. If you moved recently, don’t forget to follow these tips when registering to vote in your new state!

Upcoming move? Check out SmartMove’s comprehensive and customizable moving guide - map your move on your terms with SmartMove.

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