This page will help you find information on when, where and how to vote in your state, as well as data on political candidates.
VoteSmart is a nonpartisan organization that offers detailed information on candidates and public officials, including biography, voting history, issue positions and funding sources; you can also create a login to follow updates on specific individuals.
Rock the Vote is a nonpartisan nonprofit "dedicated to building the political power of young people" by providing educational programming and resources on voting/elections and a support system for young activists looking to make a difference in their communities. You can also find information on voter registration, ballot content, and more.
The League of Women Voters was founded just prior to the final ratification of the 19th Amendment. Formed by members of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, the League is a nonpartisan civic organization that conducts candidate forums and registration drives, and provides comprehensive resources on all aspects of voting and elections.
The League advocates on the local, state and national level with more than 700 state and local leagues throughout the country. Click here to learn more!
OpenSecrets.org is an informational website created by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics that offers detailed reports on the campaign spending/budgeting of political candidates with data culled from the Federal Election Commission. The site also includes valuable reporting and analysis on the effects of money in politics, including information on lobbying efforts by independent interest groups, political action committees (PACs), and political nonprofits as well as reporting on the personal finances of members of Congress, the president and other officials.
Get election information for your state here - it's easy!
Election procedures differ by state, and with the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting normal election operations in most states, it may be time-consuming to locate updated information. Fortunately, there are a number of organizations that offer virtual one stop shops for election information! The non-partisan League of Women Voters has developed Vote411, which lets you search by state for detailed information on registration, deadlines and more. Click here to see personalized ballot information!
The history of the vote in the United States is complicated. Most constitutional scholars agree that while there is no explicit right to vote in the U.S. Constitution, there is language within the document establishing the franchise for property owners -- a demographic that mostly excluded women, young adult men and formerly enslaved individuals, and completely excluded Native Americans and men not wealthy enough to own property. Over time, the right to vote has been expanded to include formerly enslaved people (an advance that was essentially erased by Jim Crow laws), Native Americans, women, African Americans and young adults age 18 and up. Below are a few suggestions for further reading on the long and winding road to universal enfranchisement and the right to vote in the United States.
"Adding the Right to Vote to the Constitution" - Benen, Steve (2014) The MaddowBlog
"Expanding the Vote: State Felony Disenfranchisement Reform, 1997-2008" - King, Ryan S. (2008) The Sentencing Project
The Politics of Disenfranchisement: Why is it So Hard to Vote in America? Scher, Richard K. (2015)
"The Right to Vote: A Constitutional History" - National Constitution Center (video) (2020)
"U.S. Voting Rights Timeline" - KQED/Northern California Citizenship Project (2004)
"Voting: Right or Privilege?"- Epps, Garrett (2012) The Atlantic.
"What Does the Constitution Actually Say About Voting Rights?" - Epps, Garrett (2013) The Atlantic.
IWillVote.com is a no-frills, one-stop site that gives you all the information you need to be ready to vote! You can look up your voting location, check registration status, register (if available), and get information on in person and vote by mail guidelines. There's also an information hotline you can call - 833-336-8683 - for quick questions. Easy!
Vote.org is a nonpartisan website that lets you check your registration status, register to vote (where permissible by law) and request an absentee ballot (where available). Just enter contact information, and you'll pull up a detailed list of registration and voting guidelines for your state. This one-stop shop is a quick and easy way to get ready for Election Day.
VotER is a nonpartisan, nonprofit voter registration initiative led by healthcare and social work professionals that provides hospital patients, visitors and staff with easy access to registration information and materials. The organization has partnered with TurboVote to provide free targeted toolkits that include flyers and posters with a scannable QR code that directs users to resources on the VotER website. Other innovations include text codes and links that can be shared with patients in telehealth (virtual) medical appointments.
Voter suppression has been on the upswing across America, with voter roll purges, elimination of polling locations, and reduced voting hours just some of the tactics that have been employed to limit access to the ballot. And Still I Vote is an initiative created by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights that educates, advocates and mobilizes voters to take action against voter suppression in the U.S. The website offers information on the latest developments, and offers a wide variety of resources on how to take action to protect the right to vote, what to do if you encounter voter suppression, and more.