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Voting in America: There Are Some Rules to This Right

If you plan to vote, make sure you know the rules.

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The United States Constitution sets out the right of American citizens to vote for public officials. Thanks to a few amendments to the Constitution, your right to vote can’t be limited by gender, race, or age – apart from making sure voters are at least 18 years old.

Many feel that voting isn’t just a right, it’s a responsibility. But important have to be steps be followed when voting. These can change from state to state.

Every state but North Dakota makes Americans register to vote. Some states let voters register on Election Day, while others have earlier deadlines.

For people who plan to vote in person, many states require ID, like a driver’s license, state ID, or passport. Other states may not ask for photo ID at all. The rules vary by state, so in general it’s a good idea for  voters to make sure they’re registered a month before Election Day and have some form of photo ID when they vote.

Not everyone has to go out on Election Day, to vote in person. Absentee ballots for voting by mail are meant to be used only by voters unable or unwilling to vote in person on Election Day.

Soldiers, Americans living overseas, students, older people, and vacationers were usually the ones who could vote by mail. In 2020, many states allowed more mail-in votes because of COVID-19. These ballots are mailed to voters, who then fill them out and send them back to the county’s election office.

Voting is a right, but there are still rules to be followed. Even though voting is a right granted to Americans through the Constitution, votes are only counted when the voter follows these guidelines.

Jose Backer, General Assignment Reporter, is a graduate of St. Michael's College and is currently pursuing a Master's Degree in Political Science. Born and raised in Southern California, he currently resides in the Pasadena area.

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