Can I Vote if I Just Moved to a New State?
You can check boxes on your ballot even as you unpack boxes in your new pad. Devon DeBalsi shows you how to navigate state requirements to get set up as a new voter each time you relocate.
Voting as a New Resident
If you’ve just moved to a new state, you may be wondering if you’re eligible to vote there. Each state has its own rules for how to vote, including residency requirements, registration deadlines, and what kind of identification you’ll need.
Can you cast a ballot if you have recently relocated? Yes, you may be eligible to vote as long as you fulfill your state’s requirements.
Meet Devon DeBalsi - Space Industry Engineer Who Votes on Earth
Devon DeBalsi is well versed in the relocation process, having had to register as a new voter four different times in four consecutive statewide elections. From 2016 to 2022, he moved from Connecticut to Texas to Florida and back to Texas again for his education and career.
As an aerospace engineer and a voter, Devon DeBalsi has the experience it takes to know that registering to vote in a new state does not have to be rocket science. In his conversation with U.S. Vote Foundation (US Vote), Devon explains how he went from new resident to experienced voter in each state.
Devon, you certainly have had a packed agenda over the last several years, moving from state to state for your education and career. Getting set up to vote may not have been top of mind as you established residency.
While Connecticut has same-day voter registration, you must be registered for nearly a month before you can vote in Florida and Texas. Did these registration deadlines impact your ability to vote in any elections?
They luckily did not as I researched registration deadlines in advance of my moves to Florida and Texas, and the time of year of all my moves (which all roughly fall between June and August) conveniently made it such that the deadlines were not hard to meet.
That’s great to hear. Next time, you can easily find election dates and deadlines on the US Vote website if you’d like.
Were you able to vote in all statewide elections from 2016 - 2022, despite moving around so frequently?
Yes, I made a point of voting.
The process was not particularly tedious for me in any state.
I was able to pre-register to vote at the Department of Motor Vehicles in Connecticut. When I was at college, I was able to register through a voter registration drive on campus. Then each time I relocated for my career, I registered while getting my drivers’ license in each state.
Each time I re-registered, I also notified the previous state of this change.
In your situation, you were able to avail yourself of access to voter registration through the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, otherwise known as the Motor Voter Act. This law enables people to register to vote at select state offices which offer services to the public. Some people register through their motor vehicle office or public assistance offices
So, once you were set up with registration and identification, you were ready to vote. What methods of voting did you use in each state? Was voting time consuming?
I voted with a Connecticut absentee ballot in 2016 while I was at college. Then I voted in-person on Election Day in 2018, which took about 3 hours in Texas. I voted by mail in 2020 in Florida. I voted early, in person, in 2022 in Texas, which took about 10 minutes.
That’s so interesting that you’ve been able to vote by absentee ballot with an excuse, in person on Election Day, during an early voting period, and with a no-excuse mail-in ballot.
Not only have you exercised your right to vote in multiple states, you have cast your ballot in the manner most convenient to your personal circumstances.
In 2024, do you anticipate voting again in Texas or could you be relocating by then?
I anticipate voting in Texas again in 2024.
Voters like Devon DeBalsi who relocate frequently can streamline their voting processes by taking a few minutes to create a Voter Account at U.S. Vote Foundation. With a Voter Account, your personalized democracy dashboard can be easily updated anytime you relocate. Your Voter Account can help you to instantly generate a registration form or request an absentee ballot for wherever you are in the U.S. or abroad. You can receive notification about upcoming elections, check election dates and deadlines, find your local election office, and more–all in one place. Your private Voter Account is a secure and easy way to become a vested part of your new community.