Importance Of Registering To Vote

Registering to vote only takes a few minutes. With this simple process, you'll be able to vote in the next election and fulfill your duty as an American citizen.

Not only is it important to vote in presidential elections: your vote has even more impact on the local level, whether it's taxes, schools, city government or voter initiatives. All the more reason to be registered. It's a small price to pay for the chance to affect how things are done in your neighborhood, your city, your state and nation. Here's how to do it.

Getting registered to vote is basically a matter of filling out a simple form. Where can you find it? Voter registration forms are available at post offices, city halls, DMVs and other public buildings. You'll also find the form on college and university campuses, other schools and wherever people are gathering signatures for initiatives. Whether or not you agree or disagree, sign a petition or don't, you can still register to vote here.

The form is fairly simple--name, address and other basic information. It also asks you to list any party affiliation with boxes for Democrats, Republicans and Independents. This information is used in primary elections when the parties are choosing their candidates. If you do not fill it out, you cannot vote in these elections. Some states allow all registered voters to vote in primaries regardless of their affiliation.

It may be advantageous to check a party affiliation since it means you can vote in primaries. However, it in no way determines how you can or can't vote. A registered Democrat can vote Republican or any other party and vice-versa.

Once the form is complete, return it at the public counter or to the form taker and you'll be mailed a registration card, showing your proof of registration. You will also receive election information automatically and you will be informed where to vote in person at the time of the election.

While some might consider it a civic duty, registering and voting are really ways that you can control the way we live. Whether it's a financial, community or personal issue, a vote is a voice and the act of standing up for what you believe.

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