Here's everything you need to know about voting in the US election

Oct 1 2020, 5:44 pm

Mark your calendars, because US Election Day takes place next month on Tuesday, November 3.

By now, we’re sure you know who’s running. The democratic candidate is former vice president Joe Biden, while the republican candidate is current US President Donald Trump who is running for re-election.

Both candidates have already completed the first of three presidential debates and have two more set for October 15 and October 22 — watching these debates may help you pick who to vote for, if you haven’t already studied their platforms.

If you know who you’re voting for but are unsure of how or where to vote, use our guide to voting in the US Election:

Who can vote

To be eligible to vote, you must be a US citizen, aged 18 years or older on or before Election Day, who meets your state’s residency requirements. You must also be registered to vote by your state’s voter registration deadline.

In almost every state, you can register to vote before you turn 18 if you will be 18 by Election Day.

Lawful permanent residents, mentally incapacitated persons, and some with felony convictions are unable to vote.

Voting by mail

When registering to vote, your state may ask you to declare your political party affiliation on your voter registration card. This does not mean that you have to vote for the party you’re registered with.

Due to the current coronavirus pandemic, several states are allowing residents to vote absentee by mail. Visit your state election office website or contact your local election officials to find out if you can vote by mail in 2020.

Some states require an excuse for voting by mail, but because of the pandemic, your state may automatically send you an absentee ballot or a form to fill out to request one.

Where to vote in person

Your name will only be on the roster at the location of the polling place you’ve been assigned based on your residential address. Polling places are typically schools, community centers, and other public facilities. The site of your polling place may change from one election to the next, so be sure to check with your state’s election office before Election Day.

If you’ve moved since the last election, update your address on your voter registration so you can be assigned a new polling place.

When you arrive to the polling place, you may need to show an ID. Most states accept an ID with your photo, name, and address. Full voter ID requirements can be found on the US Government’s website. 

How the US presidential system works

If you need a little refresher on how the whole presidential system works, this video shows the steps it takes to become the president of the United States.

If you have any other questions about the voting process in the US, contact your local elections office or visit

Alyssa TherrienAlyssa Therrien

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