What Are the Requirements to Vote?


Quick Answer

In order to vote in the United States, a person must be 18 years of age, must be a U.S. citizen and must follow all state requirements, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. State requirements vary, but each state has residency requirements that citizens must meet in order to vote.

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Full Answer

One example of state variation in voting rights comes in the form of convicted felons. Convicted felons are not allowed to vote in several states. In some cases, the voting rights can be restored if the convicted felon speaks with the state election office. Each state also has its own identification requirements, although most states use photo IDs as the form of identification for voting, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. An example of a photo ID would be a driver's license or a passport.

Many states use similar requirements to determine a citizen's voting eligibility. The state of Pennsylvania designates citizens as eligible to vote if they have been a U.S. citizen for at least 1 month before the election, have been a resident of Pennsylvania and the election district that they will be voting in for 30 days or more and will be 18 years or older on the day of the election. Voters at the federal and state level must also be registered to vote by the registration deadline in order to vote regardless of whether or not the vote takes place via mail or at a poll, according to the Pennsylvania Department of State.

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