watch more politics 101 videos http www.howcast.com videos 1849 how to register to vote your right to vote isn t just a right. it s your solemn duty as an american citizen. step 1 check convictions make sure you ve never been convicted of treason felony or bribery. if you have you can t vote until your rights are restored by your state s department of corrections. tip go to the election assistance commission s website for state specific voter registration requirements instructions and an application form. step 2 choose political party decide which political party to join based on which one you feel best represents your personal and social values and worldview. you can also register to vote as an independent mdash with no party affiliation. step 3 mail application mail your completed application and supporting documentation mdash usually a photo id and a pay stub or bank statement mdash to the address indicated for your state. step 4 request absentee ballot if you know you are going to be away from your official home address on election day request an absentee ballot from your local board of elections. now when election day comes you re ready to cast your vote mdash and make america a better place did you know more than 30 countries have compulsory voting laws where failure to vote results in a fine.