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National Voter Registration Act

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Voters Questions

National Voter Registration Act

Questions & Answers

National Voter Registration Act

What is the National Form?

The National Mail Voter Registration Form consists of four parts: 

  • The Application
  • The General Instructions
  • The Application Instructions
  • The State Instructions 

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Who can use the National Form?

Any U.S. citizen residing in the 50 United States or the District of Columbia may use this form, with the following exceptions:

North Dakota, Wyoming and U.S. territories (Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa and Guam) do not accept this form. New Hampshire accepts the form only as a request for an absentee ballot.

Uniformed service members and overseas voters should not use this form to register to vote. Instead, they should fill out the Federal Post Card Application, available at www.fvap.gov.

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Do I need to show proof of identification when I vote if I registered using the National Form?

If you are voting for the first time in your state and are registering by mail, Federal law may require you to show proof of identification the first time you vote.  This proof of identification includes the following (or if voting by mail, a COPY of the following):

A current and valid photo identification; OR
A current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or government document that shows your name and address.

Federal law does not require you to show proof of identification at the polling place or when voting by mail if (1) you provided COPIES of the above with your National Mail Voter Registration Form; (2) your voter registration form has been verified by an election official; or (3) you are entitled by federal law to vote by absentee ballot.  Please note that individual states may have additional voter identification requirements.

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Which part of the National Form do I need to mail in?

You need to mail in only the one-page application.

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What can I do if my registration form is rejected?

If you feel your registration form was unjustly rejected, contact your local election official. You may also contact the voting section of the Department of Justice at (800) 253-3931, or your state’s Attorney General’s office.

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Which part of the National Form do I need to mail in?

You need to mail in only the one-page application.

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What can I do if my registration form is rejected?

If you feel your registration form was unjustly rejected, contact your local election official. You may also contact the voting section of the Department of Justice at (800) 253-3931, or your state’s Attorney General’s office.

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How can I make sure my registration form is accepted?

Make sure you fill in all information requested in the form completely, accurately and legibly. Place it in an envelope, and affix the proper amount of postage to it.

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How can I be sure my form was processed, and I’m registered to vote?

After you’ve submitted your registration form, you should receive a confirmation that you are registered within a few weeks. If you do not receive a confirmation, call your local election office before the registration deadline approaches to confirm you are registered. 

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Can the National Form be photocopied?

Yes. States that accept the National form will accept copies of the application printed from the computer image on regular paper stock, signed by the applicant, and mailed in an envelope with first class postage.

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Can my organization supply just the applications and simply provide the instructions separately as hand-outs or on posters?

Registration Form, you may want to furnish a supply of only the voter registration applications either, printed on card stock according to the FEC specifications, or produced on 8.5' x 11’ regular weight paper. Be sure to include envelopes with the regular weight applications. The General and State Instructions could then either be photocopied and handed out with each application, or enlarged and posted at the registration site.

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I’m organizing a massive voter registration drive. Is there a limit to the number of applications I can copy?

No. Voter registration groups may make as many copies of the National Mail Voter Registration Form as they would like. Furthermore, there is no limit on the number of completed forms a voter registration group may submit to local election offices. However, voter registration groups should endeavor to institute quality control measures to make sure each completed registration application they deliver to their local election offices is filled in completely and legibly.

It's also worth noting that the number of Voter Registration Forms that a state distributes is usually at the discretion of the state's chief election official. Many states base the number of forms they distribute on the size of the target population of the proposed registration drive, method of distribution, number of individuals registered by the organization in any previous voter registration drive and a number of other variables. 

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Can my organization mail the completed Forms we receive in our registration drive, or do the individuals need to mail them personally?If we can mail them, do they have to be individually stamped or can they be bundled?

An organization may mail completed Voter Registration Applications to the appropriate election office(s) individually or in a bundle. The Department of Justice interprets the cost of first class postage to fall into the realm of "facilitating" voter registration, and not as an attempt to induce an individual to register to vote by giving something of value, which would be prohibited by the "vote buying" provisions of the Voting Rights Act.

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