We made history in 2020 by electing the most pro-equality presidential ticket in history and establishing a pro-equality majority in both the House and Senate. We need to keep up the momentum by continuing to champion LGBTQ issues — including passing the Equality Act once and for all — and staying engaged. Stay involved in HRC’s work across the country as we continue the fight for equality!
Some states have passed restrictive ID requirements. To learn what is required where you live, you can navigate to your state’s elections authority here. Make sure to bring one of the qualifying types of ID for which the name and address matches your voter registration information. If necessary, update your voter registration information by the deadline. If you think you may have difficulty voting because of your ID, appearance, or other factors, you can make use of early or mail voting options.
Individuals may be registered to vote under a different name than the name they regularly use or that is on their ID. If you think you may have difficulty voting because of your ID, appearance, or other factors, you can make use of early or mail voting options.
Remember, gender discrepancies on your ID are not a valid reason to deny a ballot. You are allowed to vote with a gender identity or expression that doesn't match the one on your ID. Voters may look different from the appearance on their ID for many reasons – you should be allowed to vote as long as you can be identified from your ID. If you think you may have difficulty voting because of your ID, appearance, or other factors, you can make use of early or mail voting options.
Since 2000 more than 250 million votes have been cast via mail ballots, in all 50 states. In 2016 and 2018, roughly one out of every four Americans cast a mail ballot. In five states — Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah, and Washington — mail balloting is the primary method of voting. In 28 additional states, all voters have had the right to vote by mail ballot if they choose, without having to provide any reason or excuse. Over time, a growing number of voters have chosen that option.
If you are not allowed to vote using a regular ballot, you should request a provisional ballot. A provisional ballot works just like a regular ballot but may need additional processes to ensure the voter’s information is verified and that the vote is counted. Make sure you ask for and follow any instructions (which may involve following up to prove your identity).
There is no difference between mail in ballot and absentee ballots. While states differ in the terms they use to describe voting by mail, the premise is the same: many states offer voters the ability to choose and plan their method of voting. The rules and deadlines governing how a voter may request and submit a ballot differ from state-to-state. HRC’s voter portal connects voters with the information needed to request and return their ballot by election day.
Election administrators and the U.S. Postal Service are expecting a huge uptick in the number of requests for mail ballots. The USPS has said that it could take up to 14 days for you to receive and return your request forms and ballots. So the earlier you send it, the more time that election offices have to prepare and make sure that everyone who wants to vote by mail will be able to. If for some reason you request your ballot and do not receive it, you can still vote early at a polling location to avoid crowds, or vote on Election Day.
Voters may only register to vote in the state they consider their primary residence. Whether that residence is their address while in college or their address when school is not in session is the student’s choice. College students can indicate their address while in college, including dorm addresses if applicable, at the time of registration. Voters who update their registration in a different state should contact their previous state’s election authority to allow that state to update their records.
Uncertainties like long lines are a factor to consider when making a plan to vote. Voters are encouraged to vote early by mail or in person to ensure their vote is counted. In person election day voters should stay in line even when the polls close. As long as the voter is in line when polls close, they should be allowed to vote.
Voters experiencing homelessness are able to register and vote in every state. The National Coalition for the Homeless recommends that registrants list a shelter address as their voting address where they could receive mail. Alternatively, homeless registrants may denote a street corner or a park as their residence, in lieu of a traditional home address. The federal voter registration form and many state forms provide a space for this purpose.
While states differ in policy, in many cases, states restore voting rights at the end of a person’s incarceration. Previously incarcerated individuals are encouraged to learn more about their voting rights by contacting their state’s elections center.
Voters are encouraged to consider all of their voting options. Many states provide safe and secure alternatives to voting in person on election day. These options may include voting early at an early voting center and voting by mail. To learn more about your voting options, visit HRC’s voter portal.
Voters should visit HRC’s page with links to your elections websites to view detailed information on what’s on their ballot.
Registered and all set to vote? Take action with HRC to help others vote this year.
Contributions or gifts to the Human Rights Campaign are not tax deductible as charitable contributions or as business expenses under IRC Section162(e).