While voter registration application forms will vary depending on your state, county or city, they will always ask for your name, address, date of birth and status of U.S. citizenship. You also have to give your driver's license number, if you have one, or the last four digits of your Social Security number. If you don't have either a driver's license or a Social Security number, the state will assign you a voter identification number. These numbers are to help the state keep track of voters. Check the form carefully, including the back, to see the rules for the place where you live.
Party Affiliation: Most registration forms will ask you for a choice of political party affiliation. If you wish to do so, you can register as a member of any political party, including Republican, Democrat or any "third party," like Green, Libertarian or Reform. You can also choose to register as "independent" or "no party." Be aware that in some states, if you don't select a party affiliation when you register, you will not be allowed to vote in that party's primary elections. Even if you do not select a political party and do not vote in any party primary elections, you will be allowed to vote in the general election for any candidate.
When Should You Register?
In most states, you need to register at least 30 days before Election Day. In Connecticut you can register up until 14 days before an election, in Alabama 10 days. Federal law says that you can't be required to register more than 30 days before the election. Details on registration deadlines in each state can be found on the U.S. Election Assistance Commission Web site.
Six states have same-day registration - Idaho, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Wisconsin and Wyoming. You can go to the polling place, register and vote at the same time. You should bring some identification and proof of where you live. In North Dakota, you can vote without registering.
Parts of this article are excerpted from the public domain document "I Registered, Did You?" distributed by the League of Women Voters.