POLITICS

If You Live In One Of These States, Oct. 11 Is Your Last Day To Register To Vote

It's now or never for thousands of people.
A voter registration sign is seen before a viewing event for the first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary C
A voter registration sign is seen before a viewing event for the first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

WASHINGTON ― With less than a month to go until Election Day, one of the most important deadlines of the year is upon us: voter registration.

Oct. 11 is the registration deadline in 12 states: Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. (On Monday, a federal court extended Florida’s deadline from Tuesday to Wednesday.) 

Just over half of these states allow online voter registration, but prospective voters in Arkansas, Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee and Texas must complete the process in person or via mail.

To register in person, you can go to your state or local election office, Department of Motor Vehicles, armed services recruitment center, or state and county public assistance offices. You can send in an absentee ballot or vote by mail if you won’t be in your home county on Nov. 8.

Anyone who isn’t sure whether they’ve registered can check this website.

Increasing voter turnout has been a primary focus for many advocacy organizations, including Rock the Vote and America Votes. But even this renewed push hasn’t propelled turnout in recent general elections. Just 57.5 percent of all eligible voters made their voices heard in the 2012 election, down from 62.3 percent in 2008 ― the largest decrease since 1996.

Voter turnout has been particularly low for people between the ages of 18 and 24, a group that had a turnout of around 41 percent in 2012, according to the Pew Research Center, citing a Census Bureau report. 

The stakes in this election are high, as voters must decide who will nominate the next Supreme Court justice, continue fighting ISIS, push for police reforms and work on a slate of other crucial issues.

This story has been updated with news of Florida’s extended deadline. 

CORRECTION: This article previously included tweets inaccurately attributed to Ken Bone.