Better late than never? There’s still time to make a plan, get to the polls -- even at the last minute

Make an impact on this year’s election!

(Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

For all the money political candidates spend to try and get voters’ attention, it still seems like it goes for naught, even in an important election year.

Even the richest of politicians can’t compete with how busy people’s lives are, which is a reason why some adults wait until the last minute before figuring out how they can vote and who will earn their vote.

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But take heart, all you procrastinators out there.

You can still have an impact and do your civic duty, even if you don’t feel like you have the time.

Here’s how:

Make sure you’re registered.

In order to vote, you must be registered in your state. Click or tap here for deadlines in each state to register for the primary election and the general election in November. You must be 17 years old to register, and age 18 to vote in an election.

How do I know what races are on the ballot?

This is where you really want to start familiarizing yourself with your state’s Secretary of State or Department of State website.

While everyone knows about the presidential election, there are many other races on the national, state and local level that are up for grabs. It can range from seats in the U.S. Senate to a local township clerk. There are also proposals and millages to vote on.

Each state’s website can usually filter by county or community and show you what races and proposals are on a local ballot.

How do I vote?

People can vote in a designated precinct -- or in some cases, you can visit any polling place in a particular county. Visit your state’s Department of State website to check.

People can be eligible to vote by mail if they are:

  • Going to be away from their county on Election Day and during early voting.
  • College students who are out of state but still claim another address as their primary residence (this may vary by state).
  • Sick or disabled.
  • 65 years of age or older on Election Day
  • Confined in jail, but eligible to vote.

U.S. Armed Forces and Merchant Marines, their dependents and U.S. citizens who live abroad can vote early by mail.

Absentee/mail-in ballots must be received by 7 p.m. on Election Day. Ballots from voters overseas must be received by the fifth day after Election Day, while ballots from members of the armed forced must be received by the sixth day after Election Day.

What do I need to bring to voting precinct?

Some form of photo ID is required in order to cast your ballot at a precinct.

A driver’s license or a passport are two forms of ID that are accepted.

Get out there!

About the Author

Keith is a member of Graham Media Group's Digital Content Team, which produces content for all the company's news websites.

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