How to vote this Election Day

October 17, 2018


Jin Tuan

A sign near a polling location for the 2016 presidential elections bears instructions in many languages. According to the Census Bureau, 43 percent of eligible voters 18 to 29 voted that year.

If you are 16, 17 or 18 and want to vote in this year’s midterm elections or pre-register to vote in future years, here’s how.

In order to vote, you must be a U.S. citizen and at least 18 years old on Election Day. If you meet these requirements, you can register to vote in California at the website or fill out a paper application at a county elections office or DMV office.

To vote, go to the polling place listed on your county voter information guide between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Election Day. If you arrive after the polls close at 8 p.m., you will not be allowed to vote.

In California, bringing identification such as your driver’s license, passport or county voter information guide when you vote is not required, but it is recommended if you are voting for the first time.

Once you are registered to vote, you can also apply to vote by mail and either mail your ballot to your local election official or bring it to a polling place on Election Day.

If you are 16 or 17, you can pre-register at, and your voter registration will become active once you turn 18. The last day to register to vote in this year’s midterms in California is next Monday, 15 days before Election Day on Nov. 6.

Helpful apps:

  • Several apps provide useful information about voting.
  • A link in your Snapchat user profile helps people over 18 register to vote.
  • The California Secretary of State’s Vote California app displays your voter status and polling locations.

For more information, check out these resources:

VoteSureCalifornia Secretary of State’s official list of nonpartisan election resources

BallotpediaNonprofit and nonpartisan encyclopedia containing information on candidates on the ballot

Voter’s Edge CaliforniaNonprofit and nonpartisan project between Maplight and the League of Women Voters of California with in-depth information on what’s on your ballot

This piece was originally published in the pages of Winged Post on Oct. 17, 2018.

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