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Name

Class
Date
Professor

Informative speech
Topic: Steps to becoming a voter
General purpose: To inform
Specific Purpose: To inform my audience of the steps to becoming a voter
Introduction
Attention Getter: Lyndon, B. Johnson, the 36th President of the United States once said, The
vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and
breaking down the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different from other
men. Robert Frost, famously said, Thinking is not to agree or disagree. Thats voting
Abraham Lincoln, perhaps the most instrumental president once said, The ballot is stronger than
the bullet.
Reason to Listen: Voting is a fundamental human right and allows democracy to take place. It is
an important tool of deciding good governance for the country and it is important to learn how to
be part of the process.
Credibility Statement: Voting has always been an interest for me. In the past, I have worked as a
volunteer in President Obamas campaign where I convinced potential voters to register as

voters. So it is natural for me to have an interest in the voting process and the in particular steps
to become a voter. I have done extensive research on the importance of voting, and it is crucial to
register as a voter.
Specific Purpose Statement: After listening to my presentation, my audience will gain insights on
the procedure of becoming a voter in America, with a step by step guide
Body
I will begin by briefly highlighting the history of the right to vote in America.
I. As we know, Americans place a high value on democratic institutions. The United States has
been a pioneer of republican and democratic reforms for two hundred years and a standardbearer of democratic values around the world. Before the revolution, voting was only restricted
to property owners and taxpayers and white men only. Catholics and Jews were barred from
voting in some colonies. By 1970, after the revolution, ownership of property and paying of
taxes was eliminated as a requirement for voting with some states even permitting free African
Americans to vote. In 1919, the nineteenth amendment was adopted by Congress which granted
voting rights to all citizens regardless of gender. After the civil act of 1964, the Voting rights Act
was signed into law, prohibiting any election practice that denies the right to vote to citizens on
the basis of race and forces jurisdictions with histories of voter discrimination to submit any
changes to its election laws to the government for federal approval before taking effect.
II. Now that we have a brief understanding of voting and its evolution over the years, I will
begin discussing the steps of becoming a voter.
A. Check your Eligibility (USA.gov)

To be eligible for voting in the United States, you must be;

A US citizen

At least 18 years of age on election day (in some states, you may vote in a primary election at

17, provided you'll turn 18 by the general election)

A resident of the state in which you register

Not currently serving a prison term

Not currently on parole or other post-release supervision


B. Register Online
Currently, there are 20 states allow citizens to register to vote online. Through the

Election Assistance Commission website, eligible persons can acquire registration forms. A valid
driver's license or state-issued ID card number, social security number, date of birth and address
are required for verification to fill out the form.
C. Mail in your National Mail Voter Registration Form (USA.gov)
If your state does not permit online registration, then you can fill out the National
Voter Registration form that is available in all states. The form can also be used if you changed
your name or address. The form is divided into four parts: the application, the general
instructions, the application instructions and the state instructions. The form is available in
several languages including Spanish and Chinese. Proof of identification is required for first-time
voters including a current photo ID or paycheck, bill or bank statement.
D. Register in person at selected locations in your state

An individual also has the choice of registering in person at the following public facilities;
Election offices, The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), public assistance facilities, statefunded disability centers, and election offices
E. Check your state's deadline before the elections
In most states, there is a deadline for voter registrations. This could be between four and
four weeks before an election. States such as Hawaii, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi,
Montana. Ohio and Texas are among the 14 states that close have a deadline 30days before the
election. Arizona and Colorado are among the five that close registration 29 days before the
election. New Mexico, Illinois, and Missouri have their deadline 28days before election while
Maryland, Minnesota and New Jersey are among the five states that close registration 21days
before the election. However, interested voters can check registration of the respective dates on
their official count websites
F. Fill out the federal Postcard Application (FPCA) to vote absentee (USA.gov)
Citizens who are on active duty, a member of the merchant marine service, member of the
public health service and US expatriates living temporarily overseas during the election have the
opportunity to vote by filling out the FPCA form and requesting the absentee ballot.
G. Wait to receive a voters card
Shortly after sending your paperwork, one should receive their voters card and begin. In
most states, you are not required to have a registration card to vote however it is prudent to have
it as it provides information on the right polling stations.
H. Register with a national political party or organization

One can register via online services provided by the various political parties. This
provides the opportunity to familiarize yourself with the partys philosophy and ongoing
campaigns.
Conclusion
Today, we have discussed the steps of becoming a voter. I urge all to become registered voters
since it is our responsibility as citizens.

Works Cited
Keyssar, Alexander. The Right to Vote: The Contested History of Democracy in the United States.
New York: Basic Books, 2009. Print.
Law info. What are the requirements to be eligible to vote in federal elections?. N.d. Web. 24
March. 2016
USA.gov . Register to vote. n.d. Web. 24 March. 2016