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Here are the 5 things every millennial should know about voting in the upcoming 2012 election:

1) You can probably vote by mail. In 30 states, any person can vote by mail. If you’re at school, every state in the country allows you to vote by mail in your hometown.

(Image credit: Katy Peters, TurboVote)

2) You can claim residency at your college address. Don’t care about what’s going on back home? Starting to care about local issues in your college town? Register at school. You have the right to do this, even if you’re a freshman.

3) Deadlines are sooner than you think. The earliest registration deadline is Nevada’s, on October 6. Many more states follow in quick succession. If you aren’t registered or need to re-register, DO. IT. NOW.  

If you absolutely insist on procrastinating, mark September 25th on your calendar, it’s National Voter Registration Day and as a good a time as any to finally get those forms in.

4) You may need an ID or proof of residency. Make sure you look up the right information with you, as this varies a lot by state. Especially if you live in a state with same day registration, you often need to bring proof of residency (such as a piece of mail addressed to you) to the polls if you want to register on Election Day.

5) Your vote counts no matter who you support or where you live. Who you voted for is a secret, but whether or not you voted is public information. Politicians all pay close attention to who is on the list of voters - called the “voter file” - and which elections they’re voting in. Voting not only gives you the right to complain, it makes it more likely that politicians will listen when you do.

Editors Note: Try out this new widget from our friends at TurboVote. Feel free to let us know what you think!