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Voter registration deadline: when can you register to vote in your state?

Here’s what you need to know to actually use your most basic democratic right.

Voting booths in New Hampshire. Win McNamee/Getty Images

It is Election Day 2016. But voting, like many things in America, is not always as simple as showing up to your voting booth on November 8 and casting a ballot. In all but one state, you’re going to have to register to vote first — sometimes weeks in advance.

But in 11 states it’s still possible to register to vote and cast a ballot on Election Day, according to the US Vote Foundation: Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, and Wyoming, as well as Washington, DC. North Dakota also doesn’t make you register before voting.

The voter registration deadline has passed in the 38 states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia. Some states may have certain exceptions or workarounds. Contact your local election office for more information.

You can find out how to register to vote in your state at RegistertoVote.org. In some states, the process can be done entirely online.

If you want more information on the candidates and ballot issues in your area, the League of Women Voters has very useful guides.

With all that information, you can’t say you lack the knowledge to vote. So go do it.


Watch: Why voting in 2016 could be nearly impossible for some Americans