national voter registration day, September 24, 2019

Get out there and vote! But first, get out there and register!

Today, the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) will recognizes the 7th annual National Voter Registration Day. Now a national holiday, National Voter Registration Day was first observed in 2012 and occurs annually on the fourth Tuesday in September. Largely supported by volunteers, this event will register and re-register voters in all 50 states.

Who can vote?

Each state has specific requirements for age at the time of election or age at registration.  Some require the voter to be 18 years of age on or before election day in order to register; some allow registration or preregistration at age 16.  Depending on the crime and the state, some convicted felons may vote after completion of their sentence. Two-thirds of states require identification to vote at the polls.  About half of those states require a photo ID.  To vote in federal elections, you must be a United States Citizen.  

What does this mean for resident aliens?

Resident aliens—Legal Permanent Residents (LPR) with a “Green Card”—are afforded limited voting rights.  Green Card holders may not vote in federal elections but may vote in their state and local races provided the election doesn’t require U.S. citizenship to vote.  Use caution and know the requirements because voting in an election which requires U.S. citizenship is grounds for deportation.  Green Card holders are expected to understand and comply with the law, regardless if the poll worker allowed you to vote.  

To determine your eligibility visit USA.gov and then check your state’s election guidelines.

For more information on becoming a permanent resident of the United States, contact an experienced immigration attorney today!

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