VOTE! But first you have to register!

It’s no secret that a significant election is scheduled for November 8th. Voters may not be eligible to vote, however, unless they are registered. This is the drive behind National Voter Registration Day on September 27th.

Sponsors of National Voter Registration Day, or NVRD, say that 6 million Americans didn’t vote in 2008 because they missed a registration deadline or didn’t know how to register. On Sept. 27th, NVRD will address that problem by putting volunteers at transportation hubs, retail stores, sporting events, and concerts; activating a network of grassroots, local organizations engaged in their own communities; and using technology to help eligible voters find registration drives nearby and register to vote online.

NVRD says that it is a non-partisan group led by the Bipartisan Policy Center, League of Women Voters, Bus Federation, Rock the Vote, Voto Latino, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), Fair Elections Legal Network, Nonprofit VOTE, and National Association of Secretaries of State. (A wide range of nonprofits are involved as NVRD partners at the national and local levels, including a number of Junior Leagues.)

Nonprofits are also heavily engaged in register-to-vote efforts through an organization called Nonprofit VOTE, which is a major supporter of NVRD. Nonprofit VOTE claims more than 114 state and national partners, representing more than 65,210 nonprofits nationally. Its partners promote non-partisan voter engagement to their affiliates, members, constituents and peers, including encouraging and assisting members in conducting voter engagement work.

Vision 2020 is a national coalition of individuals and organizations in all 50 states working together for women’s economic, political and social equality in the United States. Vision 2020 wants to get women voting in record numbers across the nation.

Want to learn more about voting? Check out the League of Women Voters’ VOTE411.org, designed to be a “one-stop-shop” for election-related information at the federal, state and local levels along with online access to absentee ballot information, early voting options and election dates along with voter registration information.

And to drill into voting statistics, try Statistic Brain, a free online research resource that offers up such statistics as total number of Americans registered to vote, voter registration by demographics and top reasons for not voting.

 


 

*This article was originally published in The Civic Lede, an official publication of The Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc., and has been reprinted with permission.  The Civic Lede spotlights notable developments in philanthropy, not-for-profits, women’s interests, voluntarism and leadership, and offers commentary on the issues on which The Junior League has been active for many years.

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