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Voter ID Rules for First-Time Voters

Voter ID Rules for First-Time Voters

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Have you just turned 18 years old? Or, have you decided that it’s time to vote for the first time – either in the Presidential election on Nov. 8 or another race? If so, there are some different rules that when it comes to identification requirements that first time voters must follow. These rules in some cases require providing proof of identification at the poll, even if the rules in your state do not require such proof.

Federal law

The National Voter Registration Act includes a voter registration form so that first-time voters can register to vote by mail, except in Wyoming, North Dakota and U.S.  territories – which includes Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa and Guam. Those locations do not accept the national form.

Some ID is required

All first-time voters must provide proof of identification, which includes a valid photo ID or a current utility bill, government check, payment, bank statement or government document with your name and address in order to register to vote. However, the proof of ID required under the act is not needed at the polling place if you provided copies of the necessary identification with your National Mail Voter Registration Form and your registration form has been verified by election officials.

Check your state rules

First-time voters must follow any additional voter ID laws in their state. For example, the voter registration deadline varies from state to state. In Alabama, for example, the voter registration materials must be postmarked at least 11 days before the election. A number of states set the deadline at 30 days before the election, such as Pennsylvania, Ohio and Louisiana. Some require that the registration materials be postmarked by the deadline, others require that election officials actually receive the application before the deadline.

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