You Can Vote in These States on Election Day Even if You’re Not Yet Registered

By: - November 5, 2018 12:00 am

Voters line up to vote at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Cory Morse/The Grand Rapids Press via AP

Fifteen states and the District of Columbia will allow qualified residents to register to vote and then cast a ballot on Election Day.

A 16th state, Washington, enacted an Election Day registration law earlier this year, and it goes into effect in 2019.

In Maryland, voters will decide Tuesday on a Democratic-backed initiative that would amend the state constitution and allow Election Day registration.

In most states, voters must register by a given deadline before Election Day, often between eight and 30 days before an election, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Two states — North Carolina and Maryland — allow same-day registration for a portion of their early voting periods, but not on Election Day.

In the days leading up to Election Day, one of the biggest stories surrounding the midterms has been accusations of voter suppression across the country as state and county elections offices move to purge dormant voters, curtail some early voting sites and impose new voter ID requirements.

Editors’ note: Stateline is partnering with ProPublica’s Electionland project to report on voter access and election administration issues in the states. We invite you to share your voting experience. You can sign up now three ways:

  • SMS: Send the word VOTE, VOTA (for Spanish), to 81380 (standard text message rates apply).
  • WhatsApp: Send the word VOTE, VOTA (for Spanish), to 1-850-909-8683.
  • Facebook Messenger: Go to

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Jenni Bergal

Jenni Bergal covers transportation, infrastructure and cybersecurity for Stateline. She has been a reporter at Kaiser and the Center for Public Integrity.