A voter casts a ballot at the Flushing Volunteer Fire Department in Flushing, Ohio, March 6, 2012. Republicans are holding their "Super Tuesday" presidential primary in 10 states. (Photo : Reuters)
With the presidential election just around the corner, many sometimes forget that in order to exercise your right to vote, you have to register to vote. The nonpartisan, broad-based effort called National Voter Registration Day wants to turn September 25 into the day people remember to register in time for the November election.
Dan McSwain, a spokesman for the coalition, spoke to HuffPost Politics and said, “As a basic organizing principle, having a date as a deadline seems to work really well.” The coalition reported that 6 million Americans missed out on voting in 2008 after missing the registration deadline or not knowing how to register.
The coalition, however, is hoping to make the process as easy as possible. In a couple of simple steps, starting online at the National Voter Registration Day website, would-be voters can begin the process of registering. They are then given a form, which they must download, add their ID numbers and sign. The form even includes the address where it must be sent for processing.
According to HuffPost Politics, all states have different registration deadlines but September 25 allows voters to register in time in all states. The coalition also has events being held across the nation, with an easy event finder page.
McSwain added, “If you are registered to vote, the best thing you can do is share it on social media. We’re asking everyone to share this as much as possible.” The coalition has a Twitter hashtag, #925nvrd, a Google Hangout and a Facebook page.
Some celebrities took the opportunity to encourage their Twitter followers to register on Tuesday. Late night talk show host Stephen Colbert wrote, “ATTN like-minded patriots with govt-issued IDs: Register to vote here: http://bit.ly/rtvcolber @HeadCountOrg. #925NVRD.”
Comedian Sarah Silverman also urged followers to register. Silverman tweeted, “Hey!! Register to vote here: http://bit.ly/rtvsilv w @HeadCountOrg Do it NOW!#925nvrd.”
Latino comedian and performer George Lopez appealed to voters through HeadCount Org as well. He tweeted, “Register to vote here: http://bit.ly/rtvglopez with @HeadCountOrg. Deadlines are coming. http://twitpic.com/awnnuh #925nvrd”
According to HuffPost Politics, Elizabeth MacNamara, president of the League of Women Voters of the United States, encouraged regular voters to follow the example of these celebrities. “Take a picture of yourself with your voter registration application or wearing an ‘I’m registered’ sticker, and post it on Facebook or Twitter in order to encourage your friends to get register,” MacNamara said.
She added, “Imagine what our elections and country might look like if we did a better job of registering more voters. Voter registration is the key to getting Americans participating in the political process."
Heather Smith, president of Rock the Vote, echoed MacNamara’s thoughts during a HuffPost Live on Monday. Smith said, “If we all talk about voter registration together, hopefully everyone around this country knows that you have to get registered. If you've moved, if you've changed your address, if you've changed your name, you have to get registered -- and you have to do that now so you're prepared for the election."