I am not an USA citizen, I was not ever in the U.S. But I could visit the USA embassy any time, where I could probably get easily a tourist visa. The only reason for me to not do this, is that I have better place for my money than buying the tickets.

Imagine that I do that at autumn 2024. Then, I arrive, for example, in New York, about at late Oct. I would find a place to live on Airbnb. Until then, I could visit your wonderful streets which I can do even for free, on the google street view, and which look exactly so as of my country.

Then, as the day of the election comes, I would simply visit the nearest election office and I would vote for a candidate. After that, I would simply fly back.

You have no personal identification cards. You would hear on the spot, that my first language is not English and not Spanish, but it has no legal consequences, and anyways a lot of your visitors has the some problem.

So, what avoids me to vote for your next president? If I would be there, what would happen?

And what would happen if I make a secret video from the whole process and put it to the youtube?

In lesser democratic countries, which are regularly threatened by sanctions/bombardments by your government, this is working so:
  1. Only citizens are allowed to vote. There are exceptions. For example, in the EU, also the citizens of other EU countries can vote in local elections. But these are rare.
  2. Everybody who can vote, is registered already before the election.
  3. All the vote happens on paper, which is given to the voter right before the vote. Such things like "electronic voting", "voting without an ID card", or "voting in mail without personal presence" is unthinkable. Here are some exceptions, like for persons with disabilities, but these are all strictly controlled and require a reason.
  4. The voter votes with a pen, where no one can see, how is he voting.
  5. The voter puts the vote in a closed envelope, and puts the envelope in a closed box.
  6. All the - opposing interested - parties have a delegate in all election places.
  7. They watch the voters, the box, and also each other. They have the instruction, who to call if they see any problematic.
  8. To vote, the voters has to show his/her official ID card, with that he/she can vote only in the place of the election where he/she lives. It is registered, who has voted (but it is impossible to register or even to know, for who).
  9. After the vote, the place of the election closes, and the delegates open the box, and they count the votes on the spot. All the delegates count all the votes, meanwhile they watch also each other. If any suspicious happens, they still have the alarm phone line.
  10. After the counting happened, they create a document of the election record for that voting place, and they also report their local results to the voting central. The election results for all voting places is public.
  11. Everybody goes home. The delegates are going typically in a local pub to drink and watch the results.
  • @yoozer8 No. A lot of non-citizens could vote, far more than enough to change the result, and no one knows exactly how many. Another funny thing: anybody wants to even visit the USA, needs to go to the closest USA embassy for a tourist visa and can be rejected without a reason. If I would visit you with a turist visa, and I would "forget" to fly back, instead I would get a job, I could live there without any problem. Of course I would not vote a candidate who wants to "expel" me ( = transporting an illegal economical migrant to home, instead putting him in prison, means "to expel").
    – Gray Sheep
    Commented Nov 16, 2020 at 19:13
  • 3
    Could you explain how that doesn't answer your question? In the US, you must be a registered voter in order to cast a vote. The answer to that question explains that states will not allow non-residents to register. That seems to me like it answers your question.
    – yoozer8
    Commented Nov 16, 2020 at 19:16
  • 1
    Just because a state allows same day voter registration doesn't mean ineligible voters are able to get registered and have their vote counted. The registration still has to go through the approval process and found to be valid before the vote will count.
    – Joe W
    Commented Nov 16, 2020 at 19:22
  • 2
    Not every country uses pens. In fact, in the UK, for instance, some elections use pencils. This is to allow the result to be changed by MI5, naturally.
    – Obie 2.0
    Commented Nov 16, 2020 at 22:12
  • 1
    I won't go down the whole list, but I am sure that the other statements are not as universal as you say. They do, however, closely track Republican talking points used to allege election fraud (the writing utensil bit is a particular giveaway).
    – Obie 2.0
    Commented Nov 16, 2020 at 22:15

2 Answers 2


In order to register to vote, you must provide either an ID card (such as a driving license issued by the state in which you wish to vote), or you must provide part of your Social Security Number.

Casual visitors to the United States will have neither of these things, and so will not be able to register to vote.


While not all states require ID to vote, they do require several forms of ID to register to vote, including proof of person, address, and citizenship. If you're not registered, you won't be given a ballot on election day. The best you can hope for is a provisional ballot, but that won't count if soon after they can't electronically verify you or you can't provide the missing ID. You best bet would be using a citizens persona and hoping that citizen doesn't also vote, lest you be discovered or the ballot invalidated.

Setting aside the registration and identification requirements that all 50 states have, there's a larger problem for you: it's Illegal. Your argument is roughly the same as "I have a knife and a plane ticket, so what's preventing me from murdering someone before I fly back?" In one sense, you are correct that's it's possible. In another sense, we do everything we reasonably can to stop that from happening.

Our legal system is based on deterrence, and if you break laws, you're subject to penalties. It's up to you to determine if adding one votes among millions is worth the risk. Most find it's not, and as such most invalid votes are actually accidental.

  • Are all the voters with right to vote in that place of election, registered? Is it guaranteed all the people with the right to vote, is registered to only a single location?
    – Gray Sheep
    Commented Nov 16, 2020 at 20:04
  • Well it's up to the voter to registered, and if not, then they can't vote or they must take a provisional ballot. The registration rolls are routinely audited for mistakes, duplicates, and fraud, which is actually quite simple to do when dealing with electronic records.
    – dandavis
    Commented Nov 16, 2020 at 20:05
  • @graySheep Every state has slightly different rules on how you get registered and how the voting process works, and protestations from a certain ex-president aside the Constitution does not in fact overrule those. Commented Nov 16, 2020 at 21:52
  • 1
    @GraySheep If a voter is not registered on Election Day, they get a “provisional” ballot. That is sealed within an envelope, and then they have some number of days to establish they were eligible to vote. If they succeed, the “cured” ballot is unsealed and counted. If not, the “spoiled” ballot is destroyed. This is part of why final results take so long.
    – StephenS
    Commented Nov 19, 2020 at 2:11
  • @GraySheep There’s a lot to unpack there, but none of it is directly related to this Q (or A). Perhaps you could ask a new Q (or several) on why things are the way they are rather than ranting.
    – StephenS
    Commented Nov 27, 2020 at 4:47

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