You Must be 18 to Vote, but Registration is Open, Even if You’re Not Yet 18

The 2020 Presidential Election is coming up this November 3rd, and for many seniors at Neshannock Junior/Senior High School, this year this will be their first time voting. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t actually need to be eighteen years old to register to vote.  Due to the intricacies of voting, many seniors will be able to vote and not even know it. With everything going on in the world, it is important that everybody, from every demographic, voices their opinion.

In order to learn more about young voters, I spoke with Director of Voter Services for Lawrence County, Edward Allison, about young voters, and the rules and requirements to register.  The only age requirement to register to vote is that you are eighteen by the date of the next election.  For example, your eighteenth birthday could be on October 23rd, but you may register as early as after the primary elections on June 2nd.  According to Director Allison, however, the latest you can register or update your registration before an election is 15 days prior.  This means that the latest date you can register to vote is October 19th.  Registering to vote in Pennsylvania can be done by clicking this link, and registering only takes five minutes.  

The information required to register is as follows:

  • your legal first, middle, and last name
  • your birthdate
  • your gender
  • your current address (where you’ve been living in for at least the past 30 days)
  • your county, municipality, a state identification number

For “state identification number,” you may use two different forms of government identification, either your Social Security Number, or your Driver’s ID number.

I turned eighteen on October 4th of this year, but I registered to vote in late August.  After you register using the website above, you will receive a confirmation email, as well as your voter registration card in the mail. You do not need this card to vote; you only need a valid photo ID. 

Time is running out to register to vote.  If your eighteenth birthday is before November 3rd 2020, you can and should register to vote.  It is very well known that young voters aren’t as likely to vote as more aged voters; however, according to Director Allison, more and more young people are voting every year. 

Shortly after you register, you will receive a letter in the mail telling you where you are to vote.  If you live with your parents, it will most likely be the same place that they use. Time is running out, voting is an important part of our United States, and registering to vote is the first step in having your voice heard.

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