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How to Change Your Voter Registration After You Move

American Voting Sticker
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You may already be registered to vote but now that you’ve moved, your voter registration requirements have changed. Your registration varies by state and becomes invalid after you move states. If you were previously registered to vote in California but moved to Utah, you’ll need to register within your new state in order to be eligible to vote in the next state or federal election. 

Even if you’ve moved within the same state, you’ll have to update your voter registration to reflect your new address. Your updated address will determine key factors, like your voting district and assigned polling location. But the process of how to change voter registration isn’t hard; we’ll show you.

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Ways to change your voter registration after moving

There are three ways you can change your voter registration:

  • Online (available in 42 states)
  • By mail
  • In-person

Keep in mind that if you have moved to a different state you will need to register to vote within that state. If it’s your first time registering to vote, you can follow our first-time voters guide for a step-by-step walkthrough of the registration process. You’ll want to submit all your registration updates before your state’s registration deadlines, which is typically up to 30 days before an election. 

Change your voter registration online

Currently, 42 states have an online voter registration process. Here’s how to change your voter registration online:

Change your voter registration by mail

You can update your voter registration or register to vote by mail as well: 

Change your voter registration in-person

If you would rather make changes to your voter registration in-person, visit your state or local election office to make any changes to your voter registration or register to vote in your new state.

When you need to complete your voter registration

You should update your voter registration immediately after you move. Even though changing your voter registration is probably the last thing on your mind amid the chaos and stress of moving. Every state has different deadlines for voter registration.  As mentioned above, the deadline is typically 15 to 30 days before an election in most states.

As of 2022, there are a total of 22 states, including Washington D.C., that allow voters to register at their polling place on the actual day of an election, as a way to increase voter turnout. Make sure when registering to vote, you meet your state’s voter registration requirements. 

Check your voter registration status

If you’ve recently registered to vote in another state, you should periodically check your voter registration status to make sure it’s approved. From the time you register, it usually takes several weeks for the application to get approved.

Some states issue a voter registration card that you have to show at your polling place. Your county board of elections usually mails that card to you within five to seven weeks after you register.

The bottom line

When you move, you’ll have to learn how to change your voter registration. In most cases, it’s as easy as filling out the voter registration online form, mail-in form, or making a quick in-person visit to your local state election office. Just make sure you know your state’s voter registration deadlines, so that you’ll be able to participate in the next election. 

Q:

Can I register to vote if I just moved out of the U.S.?

A:

If you are a U.S. citizen traveling or living abroad, you’re still eligible to vote in U.S. elections. Request an absentee ballot, which you’ll fill out in your home and mail back to a designated polling location in the U.S. However, if you are a Puerto Rican citizen who has relocated from the U.S. mainland to the island, you are no longer eligible to vote in mainland elections. The same holds true for residents of American Samoa, Guam, and the Virgin and Northern Mariana Islands.

Q:

Can I be registered to vote in more than one state?

A:

In order to avoid legal trouble, you should only be registered to vote in one state.

Q:

How long does it take for my voter registration to go through?

A:

County election boards, on average, approve voter registration applications several weeks after submission. If you submit an application right before an election, the high volume of applicants may delay the approval process. That’s why you should update your voter registration as soon as you can after moving states.

Q:

How do I know where my polling place is?

A:

After the county elections board approves your registration application, you’ll get a notice in the mail. That notice includes your designated polling place and the hours that you can vote. If you misplace that notice, you can look up your polling location on your county board of elections website. Most websites have a voter information page that allows you to input your home address to look up your polling location.

Remember that you have to vote at your assigned polling place. If you try to vote somewhere else, your name will not be on the roster and you may have to cast a provisional ballot. If you need to change your polling location, contact a member of your local elections board well before election day.


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