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There has been unprecedented excitement ahead of November’s midterm elections, and it’s caused a spike in voter registrations.
On the left, liberals see a chance to rebuke President Donald Trump’s agenda and regain at least one chamber of Congress. On the right, conservatives see an opportunity to expand on the foundation of reactionary reforms they have already set into motion during two years controlling every branch of government.
In all of this electoral excitement, it is easy to forget that in order to vote, you have to register. Given America’s notoriously backward electoral process, this means different things for different states.
Here are the voter registration deadlines you need to know, as well as some crucial information about mail-in ballots and early voting.
2018 voter registration deadlines by state
States where it is too late
Sadly, in some states your deadline register to vote by mail or online has already passed.
If you live in Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, or Wisconsin, your deadline has already passed.
However, in some of these states you can still register and vote in-person through Election Day (see below).
Florida residents should note that while their registration deadline has passed, some counties have extended their deadline in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael.
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Up to two weeks out (Sunday, Oct. 21)
Illinois is a unique case. The in-person registration deadline was Oct. 9. However, online registrations extend through the Oct. 21. Additionally, in-person registrations are being completed at local election offices during “grace periods.”
Two weeks out (Monday, Oct. 22)
Alabama, South Dakota, California, Wyoming.
California residents can cast a provisional ballot after this date, and their ballot will be counted following verification.
One week out (Friday, Oct. 26)
Nebraska’s in-person registration ends on Oct. 26, while mail-in and online registration ended on Oct. 19.
One week out (Saturday, Oct. 27)
In Iowa, online registration can be completed through Oct. 27 (mail-in ballots must be sent by Oct. 22).
One week out (Monday, Oct. 29)
Colorado and Washington, but Washington residents must register in person by Oct. 29, as their other registration deadlines have passed.
One Week Out (Tuesday, Oct. 30)
Connecticut and Utah.
In Utah, voters must register online or in person. Mail-in registration ended on Oct. 9.
Same day voter registration
The following states allow same-day, in-person registration and voting, as well as in-person registration during select hours leading up to the election: California, Colorado, Connecticut, D.C., Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Some of these states may also accept mail-in or online registration up to election day as well, but you should refer to your state’s electoral guidelines regarding exact timing.
North Dakota voters are not required to register before election day, but please note that North Dakota has rather strict voter ID law, which also requires proof of residency. Be sure to review their requirements.
Some states offer early voting or mail-in voting. The nature of these voting laws changes state to state, but if you live in Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, D.C., Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennesee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, or Wyoming there is some kind of early voting available to you.
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Colorado, Oregon, and Washington have moved to all-mail voting.
Mail-in ballots of some kind are available in Arizona, California, D.C., Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Postage dates for these ballots vary from state to state.
Brenden Gallagher is a politics reporter and cultural commentator. His work has been published by Motherboard, Complex, and VH1. He’s the co-founder of Beer Money Films, an indie production company. Based in Los Angeles, he works in television drama as a writers assistant.