Q: What is National Voter Registration Day?
According to the U.S. Census, 6 million Americans did not vote in 2008 because they did not know how to register or they missed their state's voter registration deadline. With national and state elections taking place this November, we need to make sure every American is registered and ready to vote in 2014!
That’s why on Tuesday, September 23, 2014, thousands of volunteers, organizations, and celebrities across the country will hit the streets for National Voter Registration, the largest one-day effort of the year to register Americans to vote. This one-day effort of coordinated activities on the ground, and on social media and traditional media, will create widespread awareness of voter registration opportunities across the nation.
Q: Why September 23, 2014?
A: When a handful of people started working on the idea of a national holiday to register Americans to vote, many folks were approached for advice on when this national holiday should occur. Out of the many suggestions, a few key themes emerged:
• Go late in the year as people tune into elections as Election Day gets closer.
• Leave enough time to meet all state deadlines.
• Pick a weekday, not a weekend. Weekdays provide significant opportunities to register voters at transit stops, on their way to college classes, and elsewhere, just taking part in their daily routines.
• Why not Tuesday? In the United States, Tuesday is when our elections generally take place. So all else being equal, pick a Tuesday.
• Be flexible. No date will work for everyone, so make sure organizations can plug in before and after.
Q: Who can get involved?
A: Anyone! Businesses are donating goods and space at their stores for volunteers to offer voter registration to their customers, service organizations are committing to this one day action to register their communities, high schools are making registration available to their eligible seniors, church groups and community service organizations are hitting the streets to register new communities, individuals are volunteering with events, and organizations that normally do voter registration are helping train and guide people who are unfamiliar with it.
Q: What's the process for getting involved?
Q: I want to participate, but I'm not a part of a business or organization.
A: That's okay! Once organizations start to plan their events in Spring 2014, you’ll be able to find voter registration events near you on our website or you’ll also be able to create your own voter registration event.
Q: Is this part of a campaign or political party?
A: No. We don't support or endorse any candidate or issue. We're strictly non-partisan. That means when you agree to participate, you agree that you won't tell other people how to vote or who to vote for. We're about democracy. We don't care how you vote, just that you do vote!
Q: I've never registered someone to vote before. Will you help teach me how?
We wish we could personally train every single person, but we can't. As we move closer to the date, organizations who specialize in voter registration will offer training.
As with previous years, many of our partners will offer webinars and training sessions for people or groups who are interested in participating. If you decide to create your own voter registration event come Spring 2014 when partner sign up opens, we'll also send you a packet of materials that will provide basic information about planning your voter registration drive. However, it's ultimately each individual’s responsibility to make sure they know the rules and regulations around voter registration for their state.
Q: Are there other people in my area doing this?
A: Once voter registration events are uploaded on our website beginning in Spring 2014, you’ll be able to find events near you and send an email to the event organizer to join as a volunteer or to coordinate together to plan a joint event.
Q: What will I get for participating?
A: Each group who officially signs on will receive:
• Customizable electronic versions of posters, "Register to vote" signs, and graphics.
• A digital event organizing kit and a communications kit with helpful resources to plan and publicize your event.
Q: Can I only be a part of it if I register people on September 23, 2014?
Voter registration is always a great idea. We're asking people to help out for this big annual effort so it can reach new people who otherwise might not have been asked to register before. Therefore, we’ll only be tracking the events that happen on September 23, 2014.
However, we encourage people to volunteer and get active in their communities every day!
Q: Where do I get voter registration cards?
Q: What do I do with the voter registration cards after they're filled out?
A: All completed voter registration cards must be delivered to a designated National Voter Registration Day representative or the correct local elections office. Examples of National Voter Registration Day representatives are State Lead Organizations or our supporting partner Head Count.