Here are the best (and fastest) ways to register to vote

As this year's presidential election gets closer, here's what you need to know in order to make sure you're registered to vote.

Jason Cipriani Contributing Writer, ZDNet
Jason Cipriani is based out of beautiful Colorado and has been covering mobile technology news and reviewing the latest gadgets for the last six years. His work can also be found on sister site CNET in the How To section, as well as across several more online publications.
Jason Cipriani
3 min read
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With the 2016 presidential election just a few weeks away, there's no better time than right now to make sure you're registered to vote.

A bunch of websites and services now exist solely to help you complete the proper forms, and if you live in a state that requires the form to be physically mailed in, some services will even send you the form along with a stamped envelope.

In other words: You now have fewer excuses to forgo registering. Here are your best options ahead of Election Day.

Register with a text message

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Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Send a text message to 384-387 from your phone to begin the registration process using HelloVote. The service asks you a series of questions, filling out the appropriate voter registration form based on the state you live in.

Once HelloVote has all of the appropriate info, it will either submit the online form on your behalf or send you the form to print out and mail in yourself. If you don't have a printer, HelloVote will print out the form and mail it to you, complete with an envelope -- with paid postage and the proper address -- to send in your registration.

Or if you'd rather use Facebook Messenger, HelloVote has a chatbot that carries out the same task. You can visit m.me/hellovote to start a convo with HelloVote in Messenger.


Snapchat (yes, Snapchat) has launched a tool to help young voters register ahead of the election. According to Mashable, the tool is shown in the Snapchat app as an ad in between Snapchat stories. When you see one of the ads, you can swipe up to launch the TurboVote registration page.

Alternatively, you can visit the registration page here. Follow the prompts to complete your registration, as well as receive text message reminders of your polling location the day before the election.

One-stop shop

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Jason Cipriani/CNET

To figure out the registration process for your state, visit vote.usa.gov on your phone or computer and select your state from the list, then follow the instructions.

For states that offer online registration, the process usually involves following a link to your state's respective registration site and entering your name, date of birth and driver's license number.

For states that don't offer online registration, such as Arkansas, the site directly links to the necessary form you'll need to fill out and mail in.

It's streamlined and incredibly simple.

Important details

  • Currently 31 states plus the District of Columbia offer online registration. You can view the complete list here.
  • You must register before you can vote in all states, save for North Dakota.
  • In order to ensure you are registered in time to vote in the November election, register now. Depending on your state, you'll need to be registered up to 30 days before the election or you'll have the option of registering on election day. But why chance it? Register ASAP.
  • Some states allow you to change your address or alter your party affiliation through the same website used for registration.

For more information surrounding registration for primaries and caucuses, or for other notable information visit this website.