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Who has the right to vote and who does not? Here’s what determines your eligibility



Vote stickers for the election

Find out if you have the right to vote.

James Martin / CNET

This story is part of Val 2020, CNET̵

7;s coverage of the introduction of the vote in November.

Before you go to the polls on Election day or request one absent voteyou must ensure that you have the right to vote. It’s easy to find out, but some things can complicate your jurisdiction, which is often determined by the states.

If you have the right to vote, make sure you are registered before the deadline in your condition. You can choose to vote early in person, vote by mail or vote on November 3 in person.






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Here’s what determines if you are eligible to vote in 2020

You must be registered to vote. For most states, registration ends in October, but dates vary by state. Make sure you meet this deadline by seeing when your state’s registration expires.

You must be a U.S. citizen. This means that you must have been born in the United States or its territories, you have acquired citizenship through naturalization or if you are a derived citizen, which means that at least one of your parents is a US citizen.

You must be 18 years or older on or before election day. Most states still allow you to register to vote at age 17 if you are 18 before election day. See what your country’s age requirement is for voting.

election-2020-voting-votes-mail-usps-trump-pence-biden-harris-1102

You must be a U.S. citizen to vote.

James Martin / CNET

Who can not vote?

Residents with criminal convictions are not allowed to vote in many states. In some states, criminals lose their voting rights indefinitely due to the crime, or they need a governor’s pardon to vote again, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In other states, such as Maine, perpetrators never lose their right to vote, even if they are imprisoned.

Non-US citizens can not vote, even if they are legal residents or have green cards to live in the United States.

A person who has been declared mentally incompetent by a court does not have the right to vote in many states. See what your state’s laws are for those with mental disabilities (PDF).

Do you want more information about voting? Here is seven things you can do to make sure your vote counts in the election, everything you need to take with you to vote in person and what will happen if you try to vote twice in the 2020 election.






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