Today is National Voter Registration day where thousands of volunteers from non-profits and other organizations will amplify voter registration drives on the ground and online to register citizens to vote. In 2008, six million Americans of voting age did not vote because they missed the deadline. The National Voter Registration day web site states: “ volunteers, celebrities, and organizations from all over the country will “hit the streets” for National Voter Registration Day. This single day of coordinated ﬁeld, technology and media efforts will create pervasive awareness of voter registration opportunities–allowing us to reach tens of thousands of voters or more who we could not reach otherwise.”
Voter Registration day has been made possible by thousands of organizations including the League of Women Voters, Voto Latino, the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance Education Fund, among many others.
With all the efforts of the Republicans directed at reducing the amount of voters who may vote, it is more important now more than ever that every Americans who want to vote will be able to vote. Estimates predict that tens of millions of Americans may not be able to vote due to the voter suppression by the voter ID laws enacted by Republican law makers. In Pennsylvania, over 700,000 may not be able to vote due to changes in the law.
The efforts of National Voter Registration Day will help to balance out the GOP fueled suppression effort. Here’s how the web site works. Go to the web site to find an event. Input your zip code and hit submit. A list of available places and organizations will appear and where to go to register. It’s that simple. Partner organizations are located on colleges, health centers, county libraries, social service organizations, neighborhood services organizations, community bankers, renter organizations, planned parenthood centers and a host of others. And the good part is anyone can help.
You do not need to be a part of an organization. Go to the web site to see how you can fit in.
Celebrities are getting involved like Usher who is appealing to the youth vote. 51 million young adults could swing the vote. But they must be registered.
Here what Usher says on voter Registration Day and how to register:
Voting is for every American citizen over the age of 18. This election is about the future we want to have for ourselves and our children. It will affect everything from if you can afford to attend college with Pell grants to whether you will be able to retire and receive Medicare and everything in between. It will affect your right to receive birth control if you are a woman of child bearing years to whether you receive quality health care if you become ill. Mitt Romney said on Sixty Minutes that he wants health care to be at an emergency room for the uninsured if they get cancer or a heart attack. President Obama wants everyone to have the same type of quality health care that Mitt Romney has. The choice is clear. But you must first register to vote and then vote on November 6.
After November 6, it will be too late to cast a vote. And very shortly, it will be too late to register to vote in many states. Ask everyone on your job, in your home and on the street, if they are registered to vote. And then do everything humanly possible to get any unregistered voters –registered to vote.
Washington, DC based Debbie Hines, an advocate of voter rights, is the founder of LegalSpeaks, a progressive blog on women and race in law and politics. As a legal and political commentator she has appeared in national and local media on voter rights, women’s rights and civil rights including the Michael Eric Dyson Show, NBC, ABC and CBS affiliates, RT TV, CBC- Canadian TV, NPR, XM Sirius radio, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, USA Today, Black Enterprise among others. She also writes for the Huffington Post and the Women’s Media Center.