Every fourth Tuesday in September is an important day for Americans everywhere. This holiday marks National Voter Registration Day, September 22, which is designed to urge people across the country to exercise their most basic and fundamental right — the right to vote. It’s a day that expresses the importance of participating in the political process and to educate Americans on their voting rights. However, you could say it goes far beyond politicians swindling your vote for one side or the other. It’s a day that aims to bring Americans together through a mutual appreciation of democracy.
Voting is something that many people seem to take for granted nowadays. And no, we’re not just talking about who you’re going to vote for for President. Uncle Sam and our Founding Fathers fought for this right because they knew how important it was for the longevity of democratic prosperity, from local governments to the White House. Our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness depends on the exercise of our right to vote.
In the 2016 election, only 58.1% of eligible voters took to the polls to exercise this right, and when compared to other developed countries around the world, voter turnout in the U.S. is one of the worst. If we only have a slim majority of the country voting, it should come as no surprise to see so many citizens feeling underrepresented or forgotten — on both sides of the spectrum.
As leaders of the free world — that’s unacceptable.
We don’t really care who you vote for, but we do care that you vote. And so, we’ve compiled some information on deadlines for when you need to register to vote and some resources you can utilize for ensuring you are ready to go come November.
Registration and participation in the voting process varies by state, and that includes how and where you can register to vote. Step one, however, is as simple as signing on to your social media accounts:
- Go to Vote.gov to find out how you can register to vote. This website offers resources that will help you through your state’s respective process, which includes updating your change of address, change of name, or even a change of political party.
- 40 states, including the District of Columbia, provide online voter registration for their citizens.
- If your state does not allow you to register online, you can download the National Mail Voter Registration Form to update your information and send it to your local or state election office for approval.
- Some states even offer automatic voter registration through agencies like the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Much like the election process itself, each state has its own deadlines for when you need to register to vote in order to be eligible to participate in the upcoming election. If you’re not registered to vote yet, make sure you confirm your states voter registration deadline to avoid any issues or setbacks. Most deadlines range anywhere from one week before the election to a month in advance.
This year’s election process has also been affected by the global pandemic. We recommend you check to see if your state has changed any guidelines in order to make voting safe for everyone. Some states have provided socially distant alternatives such as early voting, mail-in voting, and absentee ballots.
If all of your voting information is up-to-date, brush up on your nation’s history with how we describe all 45 Presidents of the United Stated in one sentence.