Tomorrow is the day -- it's National Voter Registration Day, a nationwide, nonpartisan effort to register thousands of voters on one single day!
League of Women Voters volunteers are joining forces with celebrities, businesses, activists, local officials, social service providers, and a whole host of others across the country in an unprecedented effort to help Americans get registered to vote. All in all, more than 1,000 partners are participating in what promises to be a day for all to remember.
And I am particularly proud that League volunteers are a huge part of this effort -- 249 Leagues from 44 states are hosting events tomorrow -- and many Leagues are holding multiple registration events at the same time! Our members and volunteers are rolling up their sleeves, running registration tables, talking to new voters and organizing last minute details in order to carry out the most effective registration drives possible.
Here's just a sampling of League registration activities happening tomorrow: the League of Women Voters of Minnesota will be on-hand to help register an anticipated huge crowd of brand-new citizens at a naturalization ceremony; Leagues in Houston, Texas and Miami, Florida are partnering with Univision to staff phone banks and help answer voters' questions; the League of Women Voters of Topeka, Kansas will be running all over town to carry out registration events at a whopping seven local high schools; the Lake Bluff, Illinois League will engage new voters at a busy printing shop; League volunteers will set up shop at a shopping mall in Tulare County, California; and our incredible team in the Hamptons, New York will be spread out across fifteen locations along the South Fork of Long Island to reach eligible new voters!
Did you know that 24% of Americans that are eligible to vote are not registered, but close to 75% of Americans that are registered to vote, cast a vote? 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. That is why we're committed to National Voter Registration Day, and it is why League volunteers will be out in force right up until every state's registration deadlines passes.
We already know that the election in November may be the most important of our lifetime. There's a lot more than just residency in the Oval Office on the line -- it's about jobs and economic security, the environment, health care and our communities. Although many believe this election is about the candidates that are running, it really isn't. This election is about voters, like you. Our recent Take Control video demonstrates what can happen when you leave the fate of this election and our country's future up to others. Know this -- the election in November will impact you and the people in your life. Voting is our chance to stand up for the issues we believe in, so don't skip out, get registered and vote.
In 2006 the League launched VOTE411.org, the nation's leading online election resource providing millions of voters with the information they need on absentee and early voting options, registration deadlines, ID requirements, the candidates' vision for America's future, and other important updates regarding any changes they should expect to see at the polls.
Voting brings us together as Americans -- it is the one time when we are all equal. It doesn't matter if you're rich or poor, young or old, liberal or conservative; Election Day is your opportunity to support each other and your community by having a say in the democratic process. Vote and speak up for the issues you believe in -- and make sure your family and friends do, too. Together, we need to make sure that all of us will have our voices heard and recorded!
Registration deadlines begin soon in many states, and time is running out. What are two things everyone can do to be a part of tomorrow's voter registration efforts?
1. Help get new voters registered and remember to remind them to head to the polls on November 6. Talk to the people in your life that you think may not be registered -- perhaps they weren't 18 for the last election, perhaps they've moved, or perhaps they've never engaged in the political process before. Send them to our online voter registration tool on VOTE411.org.
2. 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 registered.
This election is important, perhaps the most important ever. Join with your neighbors in voting on Election Day, and be sure to visit www.Vote411.org for all the election information you need.
Follow Elisabeth MacNamara on Twitter: www.twitter.com/lwv