Since 2018, the demand for travel nurses has increased greatly thanks to the Affordable Care Act and the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. As a travel nurse, you’ve probably been assigned to even more cities and hospitals throughout the past several years.
With so much traveling, it’s difficult to return your home base. You may even be spending more time traveling throughout the year than at home. In this case, you might wonder how you can cast your vote in elections while continuing to work on travel assignments.
Luckily, it’s easy to vote while you’re away from your home state, but it takes some planning in advance. Don’t miss one of the most essential ways to exercise your civil duty. Find out how to register to vote as a travel nurse.
Where to Find Your State’s Registration Information
The first step to registering to vote is gathering the most up-to-date information from your home state. Keep in mind that voter registration requirements vary from state to state. If you’re on assignment in Vermont but live in California, you still need to check the California requirements.
Find the corresponding site for your home state’s election office through the U.S. government. Once you’ve found your state’s site, there should be a section about registering to vote.
Each state will have different guidelines for registering to vote by mail, in person or online. Registering online will usually be the easiest option, especially since you travel often. Through the online registration portal, you’ll need to verify your voter eligibility and add information such as your home address.
Note that once you’re registered to vote, you can always return to update your registration if you need to change anything like your home address or party affiliation.
Also, keep in mind that the home address you use to register to vote may not be the same address you want to use for an absentee ballot. We’ll walk you through the steps for voting by mail below.
What You Need to Register to Vote
To register to vote, you’ll need to prove your residency. The registration documentation may vary from state to state, but you’ll usually need a driver’s license or ID card, your social security number and date of birth.
In some states, you may need to provide further information to prove U.S. citizenship. You may need documents like your passport, birth certificate or naturalization certificate. States that require these documents include Arizona and Kansas.
If you don’t have any of these documents on hand, most states will still allow you to vote. On the voter registration form, there will be an area where you can indicate that you’re missing your identification numbers. In this case, the process for registration may be longer than normal and you may have to submit different documentation.
How to Vote by Mail
Once you’re registered to vote, there’s still a crucial step you can’t miss. You need to apply for an absentee ballot, which is what you’ll use to vote by mail.
Once again, each state has different rules for applying for an absentee ballot. Some states will allow you to request an absentee ballot without reason, while other states have rules for who can receive a ballot.
As a travel nurse, your work will always qualify you for an absentee ballot since you’ll be away from your dedicated polling site. All you need to do is apply for a ballot through your state’s election office, usually through the same site you used to register to vote.
Once you receive your ballot, it’s important to complete and submit it at least a week before the deadline. We’ll cover important election deadlines below.
If you’ve never voted by mail before, know that they’re usually seen as more secure than voting in person. Getting your ballot sent in ahead of time means there’s more scrutiny to prevent fraud and election mishaps.
Election Deadlines to Keep in Mind
Voter registration deadlines vary by state and by election. For example, if you’re registering to vote in Alabama you will need to do so 15 days before Election Day. The 15-day deadline applies to all elections, whether they’re at the city, state, or federal level.
Be sure to check your state’s specific voter registration deadlines so you don’t miss the date.
Another deadline you’ll need to watch is the date to submit your absentee ballot application. Most states will require the application 7-30 days before Election Day. If you’re submitting your application with an address that isn’t your residence, you may even need to submit it earlier.
Staying Informed to Vote
While registering to vote requires a series of steps, you should strive to stay informed throughout the entire process.
Last-minute voting can be very stressful and make you second-guess your decisions. Empower yourself throughout the voting process by registering early and understanding who’s on the ballot ahead of time.
Try to request your absentee ballot early or review sample ballots to make sure you understand what you’re voting for. Keep in mind that registering to vote is meant to give you a voice, so it should make you feel well informed and part of your broader community.
Exercise Your Civil Duty – Cast Your Vote!
Once you’ve received your absentee ballot, it’s time to cast your vote. Traveling nurse jobs are hectic and busy, but it only takes a few minutes to send in your ballot. The initiatives you’re voting on could have direct outcomes on your personal and professional life.
Contact us today to learn more about travel nurse jobs available nationwide.