For those who wish to vote in the Nov. 6 presidential election and are not yet registered, time is running out.
For residents in five states, the deadline to register to vote is this weekend. Many states have a deadline of Oct. 9 and for several others, the deadline is the following weekend.
In New York, for example, residents who fill out registration forms may vote so long as their documents are postmarked by midnight on Oct. 12. In California, the deadline is Oct. 22 for voter registrations to be postmarked or submitted electronically.
In Georgia, as in many states, the deadline for registering is Oct. 9. In Texas, the deadline for postmarking voter registration forms is Oct. 30.
By some estimates, roughly one quarter of all eligible voters in the United States are not yet registered to vote. That represents tens of millions of people. Various civic and civil rights groups are engaged in a last-minute push to urge Americans to register.
In Pennsylvania, where there has been widespread controversy — and confusion — about voting requirements, the deadline to register is also Oct. 9. Voters in Pennsylvania will be allowed to cast their ballots without being required to present the voter identification cards voted on by the state’s legislature.
Last week, a Pennsylvania judge ordered elections officials not to enact a strict new voter identification requirement that had been harshly criticized by civil rights groups and a host of advocacy organizations. However, the new voter identification laws can still be enacted next year, the judge ruled.
Civil rights groups have complained that the law was designed to make it more difficult for African-American, Latino and elderly voters to obtain the necessary document in time to cast ballots in the Nov. 6 election.
Both political parties are actively recruiting voters. However, the Democrats have had an edge in registering new voters. Catalist, a company that compiles data for progressive groups, reported that in August, Democrats were approaching a 2-to-1 advantage over Republicans in states that register by party. However, independents took the lead overall.
Specifically, people are urged to register if:
— You have turned 18 since the last election
— You have moved since the last election
— If you have never registered
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