WASHINGTON, Sept. 22, 2015 – Today isn’t just any old Tuesday, it’s National Register to Vote Day!
Volunteers, celebrities and organizers will hit the streets across the nation, urging people to register to vote before next year’s presidential election. They hope by reaching people at stores, concerts, sporting events and transportation hubs, they can increase the number of people eligible to vote.
The goal is to make voting registration easy, so more people will sign up.
In 2008 alone, 6 million Americans didn’t vote because they missed the registration deadline or didn’t know how to register. Deadlines vary by state; some require registration months in advance, while some will allow voters to register as late as 30 days before the election. Groups that provide coordination and support include the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance Education Fund, Bipartisan Policy Center, Bus Federation Civic Fund, Fair Elections Legal Network, League of Women Voters, National Association of Secretaries of State, Nonprofit VOTE, Rock the Vote and Voto Latino.
National Voter Registration Day has been observed on the fourth Tuesday of every September since 2012 by thousands of volunteers, celebrities, organizations, businesses and elected officials from all over America. On that day, coordinated grassroots, digital and media efforts are aimed at creating an awareness of voter registration opportunities and reaching hundreds of thousands of new voters who would not register otherwise.
Over 2,100 community partnerships have joined forces to help people get registered at over 600 events nationwide. “National Voter Registration Day is second only to Election Day in the world of voting and democracy in our country—I like to think of it as our Super Bowl,” said Rock the Vote president Ashley Spillane in a press release from the group. “Rock the Vote is proud to be powering NationalVoterRegistrationDay.
“The League of Women Voters is so excited to once again be part of NVRD across the country, with our volunteers hosting more than 260 registration events nationwide this year,” said Elisabeth MacNamara, president of the League of Women Voters of the U.S., said in a press release. “We’re finding new voters at transit stops, high schools, supermarkets, gyms and new citizen ceremonies. For our democracy to work best, we need everyone to weigh in so our elected officials hear from all of us on Election Day.”
President Obama voiced his support for National Voter Registration Day in a speech marking the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act.
Robert Brandon, president of the Fair Elections Legal Network, says,
“Whether a person is voting on a local school issue this November or preparing for the presidential election in 2016, registering to vote on National Voter Registration Day ensures they can exercise their rights on Election Day.”
Brian Miller, executive director of Nonprofit VOTE, reminds everyone that voting is vital “because our democracy is only as strong as we make it.”
The National Registration Day website is full of information on registering to vote. Type in a zip code under the “events” tab to find local voter registration drives or to set up an event.
The “resources” tab has social media graphics and pre-written Tweets and emails to share the news.
If you have questions about the process, or to report voting problems, please call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683). National Register to Vote Day is supported by Americans for Tax Reform, iHeart Radio, IJ Review, the League of Women Voters, the National Association of Secretaries of State and Pandora.