With more than 45 million 18-29 year olds eligible to vote this year, young people are poised to have a huge impact on the 2012 Election. But with many states limiting early voting, implementing bizarre voter ID laws and making other changes, it might be harder for you to vote. These laws can get confusing, but never fear – if you follow the simple steps in our foolproof guide, no one can stop you from flexing your political power. Now let us train you in the art of democratic self-defense.
+ Know the voter ID laws.
If you don't drive, your best defense is to get a non-driver's personal ID card. You can get one through your state’s DMV . Don't wait! Check the voter ID laws in your state now, and make sure you have what you need to get to the polls.
+ Check voter registration deadlines.
You can't vote if you’re not registered. Every state has different registration deadlines and forms for voting. Luckily, there are a ton of cool tools to get you registered. But the best and safest thing you can do is to check out when the deadline to register in your state is to make sure you get registered on time. Rock the Vote’s Election Land site makes it super easy.
+ Are you a college student? Find Out Where to Register!
Generally, if you can’t pull the lever in your home state’s voting booth, your safest bet as a college student is registering to vote where you’re living (or going to school). Another option is getting an absentee ballot (it’s kind of like your voting booth away from home). TurboVote makes the whole process super simple. So, no excuses. Vote like a champ.
+ Know when you need to show up and vote!
In 35 states you can vote using "convenience" options like no-excuse absentee voting, mail-in voting, in-person early voting and more. But in the 15 states where that's not an option, voting is Tuesday-or-bust. So make sure to check the early voting rules in your state and make a plan to get to the polls if you need to.